Following a River Otter and Reflections While Paddling in the Russian River Estuary

Tuesday November 29, 2016 Jenner CA.

A sunny low wind day

I arrived late at Jenner today, around 1PM. The sun was out and the wind was down as I unloaded my boat and put it in the water.

I paddled across the river to Penny Island and headed on up the river.island

 

Startled this hawk

As I approached the shore across the river I heard a big noise as this red tailed hawk beat it’s wings against the tree branches as it jumped off the water where it was getting a drink.redtail

 

I paddled on up the river to this area and slowly kept going on up to the muskrat area, up as far as you can see to the right.landing

 

Looking for critters

From there I crossed over the river to the north side here and paddled along the shoreline looking for critters. When I got to Paddy’s rock down there I crossed back to the south shoreline to the left.paddyrock

 

I think that’s an otter

I was paddling along and something caught my eye across the river. I could just barely see it, but the motion it made, made me think it might be an otter and it was.otter

 

With the water muddy from the recent rains, I was curious to see where the otter would feed as most critters can’t see to feed in the water right now.

Following the otter

So, I stayed back and followed it down the river along the south edge and watched it to see where it would feed and what it would do.

It was picking some things up along the shoreline to eat, but I couldn’t make out what. Birds that were on the shoreline moved out fast when it came by.otter2

 

It lost me a couple times, but I was patient and waited and I was able to spot it again.

Crunching noises

It stopped to eat something here. Otter’s can’t eat under water like the seals can, so they have to bring all the catch to the surface to eat, so they are fairly easy to watch feed. They make a lot of noise crunching things too.otter3

 

Ducks don’t like otters

Even though the otter crossed these ducks a good distance away, they were on the alert and kept an eye on it as it passed them by.ducks

 

Bye Bye otter

The otter got out for a rest here for a short time, then turned back up the river. I’d followed it about three quarters of a mile down the river. I left it and headed on down towards the river’s mouth area.otter4

 

Headed to the mouth area

This was my view as I paddled along headed to the mouth area.river

 

There were lots of birds resting down that way.marea

 

Mouth is open to the ocean

The river’s mouth was wide open to the ocean, looking on out into the ocean.mouth2

 

Some of the pelicans and seagulls preening and resting in the water.birds

 

Nice reflections

The sun was getting ready to set as I paddled back towards the boat ramp where I saw this great blue heron fishing.riverflat

 

I passed on by the heron.heron2

 

And headed on in for the day.jenner

 

I went on home and that was my day.

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