What a Difference Between Yesterday and Today in the Russian River Estuary

Saturday December 17, 2016 Jenner CA.

Sunny and warm

Today things were a bit different than yesterday. The river was still up and muddy and flowing about half of what it was yesterday, but mostly there was little wind with lots of sunshine.

I backed down the boat ramp to put  my boat in the water.ramp


I parked the car and headed my boat out into the current as my plan was to drift down to check out the river’s mouth area.

I went by the tease bird on the way.kingfisher


I’m headed down to the open mouth area

I paddled along here headed on down as far as you can see to the river’s open mouth.downriver


I paddled by these grebe that are slowly getting used to my presence. One of them had a small fish it was trying to get down.grebe


Almost too big for the grebe

It took it ten or fifteen minutes to get this little fish down. Some birds can swallow big fish and some cannot and just eat little fish. Grebe tend to be small fish eaters, smaller than that one.gregefish


The mouth is open real wide now

I approached the river’s open mouth cautiously as it was open wide, but it was high tide so there should be less current than at low tide. The mouth had opened up about twice what it was before the storm and is going out to the north and on both sides of that big round rock called Haystack.mouth


This is looking out the open mouth into the ocean at high tide. I hung back in the river where it was safe.mouth1


I spent some time hanging with these harbor seals

After checking that out for a bit, I turned and headed back up the river where I spent some time with these harbor seals. There were about twenty of them in this area doing something, but I know not what.seals


Paddling up the river

The current was a lot less today, so I headed on up the river along it’s south shoreline up along here.upriver


I slowly made my way up to what I call the grotto and then crossed over the river to here on the north shoreline which I started down looking for birds and critters.riverside


The coyote was after this bird

I was approaching his great blue heron when it abruptly took off. I thought I might have scared it.heron


But no, a coyote walked right in front of me on the shoreline, but I wasn’t ready and didn’t get a pic of it. It was a nice big one though.

Further down the way, I ran into these mallard ducks taking it easy.ducks


I crossed over the river to Penny Island and went into the little channel and sat for a bit.channel


The kingfisher came by again.king


From there I crossed over the river to the boat ramp, much easier than yesterday. I got the boat on the car and drove on back to Monte Rio to check it out.

Stopped at Monte Rio an chatted with the fire chief

As I was looking down here where the boat ramp is under water, the local fire chief and rescue guy, Steve, drove up in his truck to check out the river and asked if I was putting in. I chatted with him a bit. He said he was on the water yesterday picking up a kayak a guy lost in Guerneville yesterday when his boat tipped over. The kayak had made it down below  Monte Rio before they caught up to it.

We had some talk about going out the river’s mouth and I told him not me or he’d be out there rescuing me. I stay in the river.rio


I continued on home.

It takes a real windy day like yesterday to really appreciate a nice day like today.

Nice day.

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One Response to What a Difference Between Yesterday and Today in the Russian River Estuary

  1. Stephen D. Gross says:

    Love your observations and comments. It’s good of you to share, to instruct, to inspire folks who don’t know what’s waiting if they pull their eyeballs off the screen in front of them.
    I live on the river about a half-mile east of where Austin Creek joins the Russian and feel so-o-o blessed! I see pelagics, riparian birds, garden and meadow birds, osprey, red-tails…. And now bald eagles, like people before them, seem to have come here for a vacation and decided they’d like to stay.
    I have a single and a double kayak and plan on “casting off” more often.
    Thanks for what you do.

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