Steve and I Paddle Up to the Great Blue Heron Rookery from Jenner

Wednesday July 8, 2015 Jenner CA.

Steve wanted to kayak up to the great blue heron rookery tree today. I met him at the Jenner ramp and we were off around eleven headed up the river. If I remember right, the nesting area is up the river about three and a half miles or so. That means we have to keep moving and not dally so much along the way, but we still take it easy.

Right away, just after clearing Penny Island we passed by these white pelicans. Some were resting and some were fishing.pelicans

 

Talked beaver with some biologists

I spotted these biologists getting data and doing maintenance on the sensors at this buoy, so I stopped and talked with them a bit. I was curious to know what the agency’s thoughts were on beaver so I gave them my beaver pitch. biologists

 

If your job is to restore the endangered Coho salmon’s habitat, then by law, you must restore the beaver as they are part of the Coho’s habitat that we removed a number of years ago.

As it is now, I think the beaver will slowly come back on their own, but we could help move this thing along at a much accelerated pace if we were to help them along with more beaver. More beaver means more ground water retention which helps avoid drought and provides the kind of fish habitat fish need, providing water, feed and protection.

I hope to get biologists thinking about beaver. :O)

They were pretty busy so I tried not to hang around too long and caught up with Steve not too far ahead.

We continued on up the river under the highway one bridge and kept going up the left side of the river.

Harbor seals at Seal Haven

We are just coming up on Seal Haven, where the harbor seals like to lay on some big redwood logs stuck in the gravel.russianriver

 

In some ways, these seals that rest here are my buddies as they hang in the river a lot and we go by each other often. They blend in surprisingly well resting on the redwood logs and sometimes you have to look hard to spot them. It’s always interesting to think you see them all and all of a sudden you realize there are two more right where you’re looking but not seeing.

Here’s the other end of a harbor seal. I’m not sure what’s going on in the tail area? It’s sure a nice big plump one.seal2

 

Just past that seal we ran into these seals. I’m showing three of them in the picture. See them?seals

 

There’s usually a lot of wild life at Seal Haven. These young mallard ducks were resting there.ducks

 

And this group of merganser ducks too.mergansers

 

What’s this culvert doing here

We were going along this stretch when I noticed something out of place here that I hadn’t noticed before.river2

 

I spotted this culvert pipe coming out of the river bank in a place there should not be a culvert. There’s a tiny flat and then it goes up a steep hill in back of it. But it’s in there in such a way that it had to be installed. It’s also very deep in the dirt. But the river could have piled up more dirt on it as years went by. Maybe an old road along the river at one time? I’ll have to explore it some more by looking around some more, if I can find it again. It only shows at low tide. Part of the fun of kayaking this place is trying to figure out what was being done in the past.pipe

 

We continued on up the river along this stretch across from the state walk in, boat in, camp sites. A couple of great egrets were fishing along the shore.egrets

 

Here’s one of the egrets.egret

 

The rookery

We made it up to the great blue heron rookery around four PM. I wasn’t sure we could find any blue herons in he nest. There were some up there. This tree has somewhere between ten and twenty nests in it. They are hard to count way up there. They are in a big fir tree.

See the heron on the nest? I think it may be a young one waiting for some chow.rookery

 

We hung around the nesting area for awhile and then started back down the river. The wind has come up some so we had to work some going down the river. It was pushing five PM by now.riverview

 

And the wind dies down

As we passed under the highway one bridge the wind started to die down a lot. We stopped here for a rest at Muskrat Nest Beach.riverdown

 

We continued on down the river and were at the boat ramp around seven PM. I was hungry and tired out and eager to get on home.

Lots of good exercise today for a nice trip on the river.

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2 Responses to Steve and I Paddle Up to the Great Blue Heron Rookery from Jenner

  1. Ken Solbakken says:

    After enjoying your posts from the high desert and watching “Leave It to Beavers” on PBS I’ve been thinking about your concept of reintroducing beavers to the river, which I like a lot. A good spot to start the project would be Willow Creek. Imagine all the ponds and young Coho Salmon and other fish hanging out. Biologists are pretty open-minded about nature, the biggest challenge would be selling it to the landowners who would lose some of their land to ponds. I’m still thinking about beavers.

    • admin says:

      Hi Ken,
      Good to hear I have you thinking about the beaver. A good place to start would be the whole river watershed. :O) The sooner the better. It’s happening anyway, it will just take a lot longer. In this case it wouldn’t be up to land owner’s because of the Coho Endangered species act which says we have to do everything possible to restore their habitat. Land owner’s may lose a bit of land, but they would more then make up for it in improved water retention on their property and lots more wildlife too. I think times have changed enough that this may not be much of an issue anymore as many of the people today want to improve their land and everyone wants more water, so it’s mostly a win, win. They only have to be educated to the beavers potential.
      Push beaver,
      Bob

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