Russian River estuary is Still Closed and a Walk Looking for an Old Road

Saturday September 20, 2014 Jenner CA.

It was a bit on the over cast side as I approached Jenner this morning, around noon. That doesn’t mean the weather was bad. No, very mild and the wind was down to barely a breeze. The river’s mouth is still closed so the estuary’s water level is bit high, which is just fine with me.

I paddled across the river and into the little channel on the east end of Penny Island where these male mallard ducks were resting. I spooked them as I crossed over and they flew off.mallards

 

This is the little channel I stole from the ducks, where I rested a bit before popping out the other side and continuing up the south side of the river.island

 

I passed the usual cormorants by the redwood log by swamp rock trail head. Lots of times, when they’ve been preening, they have that little while feather sticking to the end of their bill.cormorants

 

And past that, a few little pipers attracted my attention as they were feeding along the shoreline, here’s one of them.piper

 

Hard times for the yellow jackets

I continued on up the river, past eagle’s landing where I remembered there were a couple yellow jacket nests up in the trees, so I started to look for them. I wanted to see if they’d been broken into yet, as that’s what usually happens to them in this spot from what I’ve seen in previous years.

I looked and I looked, they aren’t easy to spot, but I finally found one of them. Looking closely, you can see there is a big hole in the top of the nest. Seems like this kind of hole would be made by some kind of bird? I didn’t see any active yellow jackets, so the nest must of gotten wiped out.jacketnest

 

I kept looking for the other one as I paddled up the river as the other nest was not far from the first one, but I didn’t see it, maybe I just missed it or it might be gone?

This is my view as I paddled along headed for musk rat nest beach, just up ahead on the right. Notice the lack of wind. :O)russianriver

 

Looking for an old road

Musk rat nest beach is just to the left outside of this picture. This picture shows where I’m headed for a little walk up the hill looking for an old road I spotted the other day with Ray.walkarea

 

I wanted to go up and see if I could get into the big green trees just behind and to the left of buzzard rock. We almost made it up to the trees last time when Ray got into the poison oak.walk

 

I walked up to the spot we stopped last time and looked and looked and finally found an easy way into those trees. Once I was under the trees, the going got easier as not much grows under the larger trees for lack of sunshine. I didn’t realize it before I started, but that old road appears to wind into the little canyon the big trees are in and on up it. I went a little ways further, but ran out of time, so left some more exploring for next time.

This was my view down to the town of Jenner from up on the hill while hiking around in the poison oak. The stuff is really in this area big time.jenner

 

I came back out of the trees and tried to get up the hill to the ridge top through all the brush, but wasn’t successful finding a way through the brush, yet.

Harbor seals are hunting

Back to my boat and into the water, headed back down the river. I saw a big wake moving fast along the shoreline and watched as a harbor seal popped up for a bit, then continued hunting. This type of action usually means they are hunting for big fish, such as salmon or steelhead. Likely salmon right now, starting their trip up the river to spawn.seal

 

Screeching osprey

Just past that hunting seal, I could hear an osprey screeching up ahead, so I watched for it to see how close I could approach, if I moved slowly. I got fairly close before it took off.osprey2

 

On past eagles landing I went and saw this turkey vulture sitting in a tree. I looked for things it might be eating, but saw nothing. Must just be resting.vulture

 

Kite type bird

I headed on down to the west end of Penny Island and saw this kite type hawk flying around over the island, so I turned to get a picture of it, thinking I likely would not be able to get one, as they fly around all over the place and it’s hard to get a good picture of one.

But this one seemed to be curious of me or something on the ground right in front of me, as it hovered right in front of me for several minutes as I tried to get a good picture of it’s kiting, which isn’t so easy as they are moving a lot to maintain the kiting and my kayak is moving all over the water at the same time.

I took about twenty pictures and this is about the best I could do.kit2

 

Closed river’s mouth area

After that, I headed on down to the river’s mouth area. which looked like this as I approached. The mouth  is closed with sand.closedmouth

 

There were a bunch of harbor seals swimming in front of the piled up sand as I sat there in front of it for a bit.seals

 

I didn’t stay too long at the mouth as it was almost six PM, so I headed on in for the day. On the way, I saw a red tailed hawk land in a big tree up ahead.redtailhawk

It flew off as I passed and I headed on into the boat launch area and was off the water and headed on home for the day.

Messed up traffic in Guerneville

I got jammed up in Guerneville as the jazz/blues festival was just letting out and traffic through the back streets was mostly at a standstill. I was patient and made it on through. Unfortunately, I didn’t know of any back street around the mess or I would of taken it.

That was it for another nice day kayaking on the Russian River.

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