The Cormorants are Back in Force Fishing in the Russian River Estuary

Monday March 2, 2015 Jenner CA.

There was a light wind and the sun was out as I drove into Jenner this morning. I put my boat in the water and headed across to Penny Island. As I a sat around looking things over I decided to go on up the river towards muskrat nest beach, so I headed that way.

These two seagulls were sitting on this redwood log as I passed.seagullls

 

This was my view as I worked my way up the shoreline, looking over to Paddy’s rock.russianriver

 

Harbor seals are fishing

I heard a big splash across the river and looked up to see this wave that a harbor seal was making as it hunted along the shoreline, likely after fish as the big fish like to lay in the shallows to keep away from the hunting seals.sealwave

 

I continued working my up up the river along the south shoreline taking my time. I could hear some geese across the river honking whenever anything alarmed them, which was often.geese

 

I made it up to the Muskrat Nest area and sat for a good long time, just watching and enjoying the river as the wind picked up a little.

Eventually, I left that spot and crossed the river to Paddy’s rock where these ducks where getting some sun on the gravel.ducks

 

There were some cormorants on the gravel too that flew off as I approached.cors

 

Two geese were honking and landed in front of me as I paddled on down along the shoreline. Click the picture to get a better quality photo.gooses

 

Cormorants attack

The wind has picked up a bit more by now as I was crossing over the river to Otter’s log when I noticed a very large group of cormorants landing by Otter’s log and fishing. They just kept coming as I watched. I was bouncing up and down on the waves and couldn’t get my camera out and even it I did, I couldn’t focus on anything as I was just too busy paddling. I could see some trout looking type fish jumping out of the water trying to stay out of the cormorants sharp beaks.

Eventually, I got through the bigger waves and got my camera out and took this photo.

This was the view I had of the cormorants fishing. Click the photo to enlarge it and see what’s going on.jenner

 

Great blue heron strikes

I saw this great blue heron on the shore getting in on the fishing action. As I watched, it struck.blue

 

This is the fish it caught. It worked it around to this position so it could swallow it, head first, which it did, then flew across the river to the opposite shore where I watched it land.heronfish

 

The cormorants were fishing, following the school of fish up the river where I had just been, up this way.river

 

I headed back up the river as they kept fishing heading up the river. I was hoping they might turn and come back down in front of me, but they didn’t. But I did get to watch them before they went out of sight.

I watched the cormorants and the seagulls fish across from me. I think the seagulls where getting the scraps from the cormorants as in wounded and dead fish that had escaped from the cormorants.fishing

 

Some of the Cormorants

I sat just across the river from Paddy’s rock and watched as a lot of the cormorants landed there to rest up, likely full and needed to digest their dinner. This is just some of the cormorants that I was watching fish just a bit earlier. More of them landed as I watched.cormorants

 

I believe the cormorants come to the estuary at this time of year to feed on the hatchery fish that were released recently in large numbers. In recent years I’ve seen them fishing here in large numbers until nesting time a month of so from now.

Scrub jay bathes

I started on my way back down the river and noticed some movement in some bushes by the shoreline and found this scrub jay taking a bath.jay

 

I continued my paddle on down the river and was thinking of going down to the river’s open mouth, but when I went by the boat ramp, I headed on in for the day and went on home.

When I got home, I went out and dug up some potatoes for dinner tonight and then hit the couch for a much needed nap.

That’s it for another nice day.

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