Motorcycle Memories, Birds, Critters and a Dead Flounder

Sunday October 25, 2015 Jenner CA.

I went on down to Jenner today and being Sunday, the boat ramp was jammed up, but I waited patiently and got my boat in without getting pissed off, just barely.

With all the people, I decided to head on up the river to Willow Creek today. I went by these cormorants and the harbor seal.cormorants


The cormorants took off, but the harbor seal stayed as that one is likely my best seal buddy who I see often. This is one of the seals that mostly hangs in the river and not with most of the other seals that are down by the river’s mouth area all the time.sealbuddy


Motorcycle fun

Across the river on the hillside I heard some motorcycles. When I looked over there, I saw two guys on cycles with their dog. Boy, they sure brought back memories of my earlier days on dirt bikes.cycles


I watched them for a bit. The guy on the left is the better one on the cycle, but he spun out here and the other guy crashed.spinout


Place to myself

I continued on up the river and had the place to myself as all the other boats stayed down by the river’s mouth. I’m going by Muskrat Nest area here.russianriver


Willow creek

I took my time and made it up to Willow creek and entered. The creek looks larger here as with the river’s mouth closed and the estuary rising, it’s starting to connect to the river on the left side.creek


I poked around the creek a bit trying to see if I could poke in further than normal with the creek up and just explored around a bit before heading back out and crossing the river to the north side.


These buffle headed ducks are the first ones I’ve seen so far this fall. More should follow soon as well as some Goldeneyes as they seem to show up here in the fall for a spell.buffleheads


Least grebe

This little least grebe popped up just in front of me from a dive. It was fishing along the shore. I watched it for awhile before continuing on down the shoreline looking for birds.grebe


Seagull eats flounder

I ran into this gall eating something so I went closer to have a look.seagulllfish


It was eating a six inch flounder. Lots of little two inchish founders come into the estuary in the spring to grow up a bit. Here’s what it looked like as I pushed the gull off it for a bit. Remember, there is a layer of ocean salt water under the fresh river water, so ocean stuff can live down there.flounder


Western grebe

I was just leaving the shoreline, crossing over to Penny Island when I ran into this grebe, which is a western grebe.grebe3


Most of the earlier boaters had left the estuary by now and went on home, so I paddled on down the side of Penny Island where I could see some hawks flying around on the lower end, so I worked my way into the flooded part, pushing through the grasses as the water wasn’t up very high in there yet. I spotted this buck deer near the back. It watched me for awhile until I got nearer, then disappeared into the brush.buck


This is looking back towards the ocean from the grasses on the lower end. It looked and sounded like the ocean was real rough out there.icean



I heard a screech and looked up to see these two hawks not far from me. The one in the air landed close by and started preening. A bit earlier I had seen one of them carrying off a coot to the center of the island.hawks


Mouth area

I hung out there for a half hour or so, then paddled on down towards the river’s closed mouth area going by this rock with the cormorants on it.cormorants2


There were a lot of birds resting on the sandy beach and in the water down there. I sat and watched while big waves splashed over the jetty and pounded the coast line, before starting back in for the day. I passed by this brown pelican just taking off.pelican


Way too many pictures

Lots going on today. I had an overload of good pictures, way too many, so I had to drop a lot of them as I try to keep the picture count down to about fourteen, which is sometimes the hardest part of writing this blog, although good pictures our also what makes writing the blog easier. :O)

Most of the boaters had left for the day, as the wind had come up a bit, so I had no problem taking my boat out at the ramp and went on home.

At home I went over to where I need to repair the water pipe that crosses the creek that washed out last winter during a storm and did some measuring so I can get what I need, to do the repairs.

After that, I hit the couch as I was wiped out and that was my day. :O)

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4 Responses to Motorcycle Memories, Birds, Critters and a Dead Flounder

  1. admin says:

    Hi Dan,
    Another observation on the seagull and the flounder. If the seagull could of carried it off, it would have flown away with it instead of moving back as I checked it out. It moved off, but came back as soon as I backed off. Some larger seagulls can carry a much heavier load then this seagull can as I’ve seen them do it.

  2. Dan says:

    I like the way you do things, too. You pay attention to what’s happening, and you still leave a little room for some doubt about your conclusions because things aren’t always what they appear to be at first.

    Another thing, being an amateur naturalist is an advantage in that you can more easily change your mind when evidence suggests you should. Amateurs also have the advantage of being out there for the right reason: love of the place.

    Yes, I didn’t mention about the seagulls on Anacapa Island. That is where they nest and rear their young ones.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Dan,
    Well, anything is possible. The seagull could hardly lift the fish and it would have to protect it from being stolen by other birds if it flew it in. I do know that several different types of flounders come into the estuary in the spring from the biologists that net them when they take samples in the estuary that I’ve been there and seen and I’ve seen them being eaten by the cormorants and otters. By fall, they grow to around six inches as that one was.
    I think flying fifteen miles to eat something is a bit much also, unless they were nesting.
    One thing I’ve learned is not all biologists get it right, they tend to spend too much time at the desk and not enough out in the field. :O) I also find that some of them are from the cities and are really out of their element so to speak. They also have a bad problem of passing on false information that they learn and keep passing it on thinking it’s true and then the next one thinks it’s true and keeps passing it on.
    One of the things I like about how I do it is what I do is ongoing and I don’t have to write up a final report stating this and that to finish out my project. My project is ongoing until I’m dead. I’m not always right either which makes my point. :O)

    Have fun up on those rivers. Both are nice ones which I do occasionally.

  4. Dan says:

    Bob it looks like you had a fantastic paddle out there on Sunday in spite of all the human company at first. You did get to see a lot of wildlife at Jenner, a lot more than what I saw at the end of Tomales Bay where Lagunitas Creek flows in. I especially liked the photo of the Western Grebe.

    Up from Jenner I’ve seen a couple of Bufflehead Ducks so far, I guess the first of a lot more coming soon. On our walk on Salmon Creek Beach on Saturday I saw a lot of birds flying south in lines of maybe 30 -50 each. They were a quarter of a mile offshore, too far for me to tell what kind they were, but maybe cormorants by their wingbeats.

    About the seagull and the flounder. Once when I visited Anacapa Island (about 15 miles offshore from Ventura County) I saw a whole bunch of chicken leg bones—drumsticks, we called them as kids—lying around everywhere. The naturalist told me that the gulls scavenged them from the Ventura County dump and flew back to Anacapa to eat them. Seemed a bit strange to me to fly 15 miles to eat left-overs from a Colonel Sanders meal, but that’s what he said. Do you think maybe the seagull carried the flounder in from the beach?

    I’m going up to Big River and the Albion River tomorrow and the next day (maybe in the rain!). I hear that there is a lot of sea bird activity up there right now.

    I really enjoy reading about your daily paddles and learning more about the river.

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