It’s Not an Eagle, It Is an Eagle

Monday November 24, 2014 Jenner CA.

I arrived at Jenner this morning and could see Ray, John and Steve already across the river in their boats taking it easy in the small channel on the east end of Penny Island so I put my boat in the water and joined them for a paddle up the river. They wanted to paddle up to the Willow Creek area, so we started off.

It’s an eagle

Right away, Ray says there’s an eagle that just landed on that line over there. I looked and it looked  more like an osprey, but I think it was some kind of hawk.hawk

 

Just past that, we saw a seagull eating something on a log that the guys said was a crab, but getting closer, it turned out to be a seagull eating an old coot carcass. It’ seems the coots are fair game to all kinds of predators down here.seagull

 

We continued on up the river to a mostly calm day.russianriver

 

Is it an eagle?

Just as we passed the eagle’s landing area, a big bird was approaching us from the front. It’s an eagle, no, yes, no, yes it is, as it flew over our heads and tried to land in one of the eagle’s landing trees, but it had picked branches that were too small to land on so couldn’t make a successfully landing right away. I was watching just over my head, but didn’t have the camera out until it finally landed in the other tree which is in the center of this picture, which is the eagle’s landing area, because eagle’s are known to land in this area.elanding

 

Somewhere in that big tree was the eagle

It took me a while to spot the eagle in this tree as it landed more inside the tree, but I finally found it and took some pictures. From looking at the pictures and seeing how large it was while it flew over us, I’d say it is an immature female bald eagle. Females are about twice the size of males and this one had a lot of white on it, just starting go get it’s white head and tail feathers. The eagle was determined to land in this tree right above us and didn’t seem to mind our presence, I think I found out why it wanted to land later.eagle2

 

We left the eagle in the tree and continued on up the river, taking it easy.cruising

 

I could see a lot of splashing up the river in front of us and was wondering what was going on. Closer examination showed it to be some cormorants taking a bath.birdbath

 

We’ve just gone under the bridge on highway one and the water was real flat now.glass

 

Did the eagle kill the goose?

Just past the bridge, I could see a seagull eating something in the grass. Seagulls don’t kill birds, but eat the left overs from what does kill them. I think the eagle we saw had just dined on what we think was a goose and landed in that tree by us to digest it, as we saw the eagle not far below this spot.kill

 

Paddling into Willow creek

We worked our way up to the Willow creek area and paddled on in, under this bridge.willow

 

We sat around and talked an had something to eat in this area as it’s real nice on three-part of the creek we could paddle into.

Turkey vultures get theirs

When we left that area, we paddled back across the river where the seagull was working on what was left of the goose. By now, turkey vultures had moved in and had taking the goose parts away from the seagull and were finishing it off.vulture

 

There was some talk about going for a hike up Muskrat trail, but as we passed that area no one spoke up, so I figured everyone was too lazy and so was I, so we kept heading down the river. John left us and headed back in near eagle’s landing. I checked to see if the eagle was still there, but it had left.

We passed by these birds just above Penny Island. Mostly cormorants and coots, I think. The same spot the seagull had been eating the dead coot on then way up.birds

 

Headed for the mouth area

Ray decided to go in  for the day, so Steve and I continued down the back channel of Penny Island headed for the river’s mouth area.

There were quite a few brown pelicans down that way. Here’s one of them as it flew by us.pel

 

Mouth is closed up still

The mouth is closed up with sand, but it looked like water has been breaking over the sand and bringing some ocean water into the estuary along several places on the sand bar that separates the river from the ocean.

River’s end

We paddled down to the end of the river and sat around in this spot for a while just watching. Looking back up the river from the end of the river.riverend

 

Spooked coots

We eventually started on back for the day. As we got near the boat ramp, we ran into this large group of coots, which were on the skittish side, but we couldn’t see what was causing them to be spooked.coots

 

We hit the ramp and took our boats out for the day and that was it for a nice day paddling around the estuary.

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