Up the River to the Great Blue Heron Nests

Tuesday, Apr. 2, 3013, Jenner, CA.

The Great Blue Heron Tree

I was going to go to Santa Rosa today to do some much needed shopping, but Steve called just before I was going to leave and wanted to go down to Jenner to kayak, so that’s what I did instead.

Some fog in today at Jenner.

We got to Jenner around noon. It was a bit on the foggy side, but the wind was down so off we went, across to Penny Island and then up the south side. On the way, Steve said he wanted to go to Willow Creek, so I said ok, but if you want a good pic of seals, we  have to go a bit further up to the seal logs, so he said ok.

So as we were paddling, Steve said how about we go up a little further to the Osprey nesting area? I said ok, but as long as we are going up that far we might as well go just a little further to the Great Blue Heron nesting tree. The biologists call it a Great Blue Heron Rookery. This is about 3.7 miles above Jenner.

Not enough water in Willow Creek to paddle up it.

When we got to Willow Creek, the tide was out and there wasn’t enough water to enter it so we continued up the the logs where the seals were.

Across from the Willow Creek area, we saw some geese and some cows grazing on the hillside, as you can see below.

geese

 

The fog was sneaking around us a bit, but it was still nice. Below is a picture of what the river looked like as we headed up the river.

 

riverview

 

Logs with seals on them.

We approached the logs with seals on them as you can see below.

alertseal

 

Steve was trying to get close enough to get a picture of these seals. This place is one place the seals usually let one get close to them, as you can see in the picture below.

seals

 

There were some real fat seals there as you can see in the picture below.

fatso

 

There were a lot of wild flowers along the banks of the river. Some blue periwinkles caught my eye as we passed this area, as can be seen below.

periwinkles

A little further we came across this male great blue heron fishing along the shore line.

greatblueheron

 

And some Cormorants resting on this log. There must have been at least a thousand cormorants resting along the banks of the estuary today on the way up the river.

cormorants

 

Lot’s of otters on the river, scattered about.

We saw half a dozen or so otters at different times. Mostly singles and shy too. One of these otters is in the picture below.

otter1

 

We continued on up the river, it’s very scenic up in this area as you can see in the picture below.

riverview1

 

The Great Blue Heron Rookery.

We did make it to the great blue heron tree, as you can see in the picture below. How many nests can you count? I think there are over twenty in this big fir tree. Sometimes the Herons are  visible in the tree and sometimes they seem to hide.

heronnests

 

A rest was in order, as we were tired.

We needed a rest after traveling up this far, so we beached our boats across from the Blue Heron nesting tree and got out and walked around for awhile before starting back down the river as you can see in the picture below.

shore

 

As we started back down the river it was getting late, around 5: 30 pm and the fog was starting to come in for the night. Steve is just above Marcum’s hole headed back down the river below.

fog

 

Just as we crossed back under the highway one bridge, Steve spotted some more otters, so I got one more picture as you can see below.

otter

 

A wild turkey in a tree.

We were sitting in a little cove taking a break when we heard a big commotion over our heads in the trees. It turned out to be a lone male wild turkey getting a spot for the night, as you can see in the picture below.turkey

We got back to the visitor’s center at Jenner around 7:30, where two tired guys got their boats out of the water for the day.

It was a nice long leisurely paddle today.

Had a nice day and got some exercise too.

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