Paddling Around with the Coots and the Coyote

Sunday November 2, 2014 Jenner CA.

I decided to go down to Jenner today and watch the coots to see what predators might be dining on them.

The wind was down when I got there and came up a little when I launched my boat, but soon died down as I paddled across to Penny Island’s east end.

I spied several flocks of coots as I sat there watching. Seems there were more coots here today than yesterday.

I headed across the river to the south side and continued on up the river at my usual slow pace.

This was my view as I paddled along.russianriver

 

Whiskers and a couple cormorants were there to greet me as I passed on by.seal

 

I could see lots of coots up river ahead of me as well as some other birds too. I crossed the river to the north shoreline and continued on up.

Buffleheads

These are bufflehead ducks, I think. A bunch of them show up around this time of year and a lot of them stay most of the winter.buffleheads

 

I watched this little shore bird land in this grassy area as I went.bird

 

Coots

There were lots of coots in several flocks near Paddy’s rock. This is a big flock of them being spooked by something? I think there must of been over five hundred coots in this area today.

I stayed around watching the coots for quite some time.cootsrom

 

Eventually, I headed on over to the muskrat nest area, across the river, where I’m headed in this picture.muskrat

 

I sat in my boat watching all the coot flocks doing their thing.

Vultures

While watching the coots, I spied some turkey vultures across the river from me, near Paddy’s rock, which is also where I saw the coyote the other day.

I went over to investigate what the turkey vultures were doing. Seems one of them was eating what was left of a coot, which wasn’t’ much, just a wing with a little meat on it.vultures

 

Is that the coyote?

As long as I’d come back over to this side of the river, I decided to go down the shoreline and look for the coyote and any other birds near the shore on the way.\

I saw this thing up by the trees. It looked like it might be the coyote, but also looked like it might just be a stump.coyote1

 

I just couldn’t be sure, so I approached it a bit and noticed it was the coyote, so I backed my boat off away from it out into the river, so as to spook it.

These grebes were swimming and fishing around in that spot. There are two types of grebe in this picture. The smaller type on the left and the larger type on the right. Both come into this area about this time of year and stay most of the winter.There seems to be more of them this year.grebes

 

I saw the coyote get up and move off down the river, so headed down hoping to pick it up somewhere along the way.

About another hundred feet, I spied it again, laying in the sun, hoping some coots would come by.coyote2

 

Now that I’d set the stage, by going away from it the first time, indicating I wasn’t interested in it, I now could approach closer without it spooking so much and I took this picture.coyote

 

I sat around in front of it for about five minutes before it slowly got up and headed off down river some more.coyote3

 

I followed in it’s direction, but didn’t see it again.

I did run into these geese feeding along the shore. I bet the coyote would love to get it’s teeth into one of these.geese

 

Moving on along the shore line, I saw this egret fishing.egret

 

From there, I headed back over the river to the south shoreline and continued paddling down the river.

A bunch of cormorants had landed and were perched with Whiskers.jenner

 

I passed on by them and went into the little channel  on the east end of Penny Island sat for a spell watching more coots feeding by diving under the water to get vegetation.

Here are some of them in front of the visitor center at Jenner. This was a small part of a flock of about two hundred moving around the area.Jenner2

 

The coots started to go down along the island, but something I couldn’t see spooked them and they all flew back by me.

I went on down to see what might have spooked them as I knew there’d been a bobcat on the island a couple days ago, but I didn’t see anything.

Headed down to the closed mouth

I was thinking of going in for the day, but decided to paddle on down to the closed river’s mouth area, which I did.

There were a lot of birds in the water and on the beach. Mostly seagulls, with some cormorants and some brown pelicans.

Here’s just a few of the birds, the pelican section.pels

 

I paddled down to the end of the river and sat around for a bit, then headed on in for the day.

My view as I paddled on in for the day.sun

 

The wind started to come up in the morning, but stayed down for the rest of the day for a real nice day paddling around the Russian River Estuary.

I went on home and just had enough energy to hit the couch for a nap and that was it for my day.

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2 Responses to Paddling Around with the Coots and the Coyote

  1. Cheryl Ann says:

    Beautiful photos! I spotted a couple of coyotes up by the horse ranch yesterday. One was being dive bombed by a crow before it crossed the road in front of me to join its companion.

    • admin says:

      Looks like you did well too with the coyotes. Traveling the back roads of the desert, as you do, looking for critters is similar to paddling up the river looking for them. They both beat the forest where it’s hard to see critters for all the trees.
      Thanks for the comment,
      Bob

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