I Followed Four Feeding River Otters as I Paddled Along

Friday December 22, 2017 Jenner CA.

I never know when I’ll run into the river otters

It was cool out today, so as I got it going I put on an extra shirt. I drove on down to Jenner and put the boat in the water.

Every day is different down here, so what will today bring?

Cool breeze

There was a slight cool breeze coming down the river as I crossed over to Penny Island and headed up stream.river1

 

River’s surface turned to glass

But as I took my time paddling along the south shoreline, the breeze died down and the river’s surface was glass. I like this condition because anything that moves in the water makes a wake and can be more easily seen, even big fish under water a couple feet make a wake.

I paddled along here in front of Eagle’s landing in the big trees. No eagles today.river5

 

Birds getting use to me

This loon came up out of a dive right near my boat. It didn’t seem to mind my presence much.loon6

 

And these grebe are getting use to me paddling by.grebe7

 

No not ducks

I could see what I thought were some ducks up ahead in the water, but as I watched they turned into river otters and were coming my way.otter8

 

There were four of them and they pulled into the side of Paddies rock.otter9

 

They knew I was there and were figuring out which way to go. They decided to go across the river here and fish up along the side as I followed them.river10

 

River otters feeding

They were fishing away and not minding me being close much. I tried to stay back about fifty feet, but a lot of times I drifted much closer. When I drift I have no control as I don’t want to move and scare what I’m looking at. These guys didn’t budge until my boat got about five feet from them. But they just scooted off and started diving and feeding again.otte10

 

I followed them for about a half hour as the fed along in front of me. They finally went to shore for a nap about here so I moved up the river a bit for a break and to see if they’d return or not. They just fed well so they were full and a nap was in order.river11

 

I moved up to this spot and sat and watched for a bit. The otters were in the brush  napping just off to my left. I didn’t see them again.river12

 

Paddling down the middle

Eventually I started back down the river going pretty much down the middle.

I went by some more grebe. This one had it’s hind feathers up and seemed to be having some kind of hormonal problem. It was doing a lot of antics as I watched. The other birds didn’t seem to be interested.grebe13

 

One of the grebe came pretty close to the boat so I was able to get this clear shot. Getting clear photos from a boat in the water isn’t so easy if you’ve ever tried it.grebe15

 

I was headed down the river through Penny Islands back channel. I spotted several deer just below Candee’s Place.

Here’s one of them. They were eating grass.deer16

 

No more glass as I  headed to the mouth area

The water was so flat I thought I might as well head on down to the mouth, but the breeze came up just a little and the glass went off the water as I neared the mouth area.

I pulled into this spot just inside the open river’s mouth and sat for a bit watching things. I could hear the bark of a sea lion which usually means there are some big fish around. The birds were making lots of noises and the ocean waves were pounding the shoreline.mouth16

 

Lots of harbor seals

Here’s some of the harbor seals resting by the mouth. There’s a couple hundred more of them off to the right.seals15

 

I noticed these turkey vultures on the sand. I looked for something they might be eating, but didn’t see anything.seals17

 

Cool breeze off the ocean

The slight breeze was cool, about fifty degrees F. and I was getting cold even with the extra shirt so I headed on in for the day.

I loaded my boat on the car and drove on home.

And that was my day for a nice one.

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One Response to I Followed Four Feeding River Otters as I Paddled Along

  1. Patsy Irene says:

    Very cool yak today! Lots to see. I love how they are all getting used to you.

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