A Buck, a Surveyor and the Brown Pelicans Tossing Sticks

Thursday September 17, 2015 Jenner CA.

I thought I’d get another day kayaking in before I took off to the desert tomorrow. So off I went and arrived at Jenner to an overcast day. The wind was down so things looked good.

I paddled across the river and decided to go down to see how the closed river’s mouth was dong after the rain storm yesterday.

You can see it’s a bit overcast as I paddle down along the shoreline of Penny Island.russianriver


I pulled into this spot at the lower end of the island and noticed something on the sky line that looked out of place, just left of center. I could barely make it out, well actually I couldn’t make it out without the help of my camera.island


Looks like a big buck checking something out on the other side of the hill. I watched for about ten minutes when it finally went off down the other side and disappeared.deer


What’s this guy doing

I continued paddling across the water headed to the closed mouth area. I saw this gay and passed him, but eventually I noticed his pole was different than most people carry so I investigated and went a bit closer.

I didn’t get a chance to talk with the guy, but it looks like he is getting measurements of where all the sand is which gets sent to a computer likely back at the office by the thing on top of his stick. In other words, he’s measuring the profile of the sandy beaches so they can note how they change through time. One guy I talked to about a year ago doing this said they do it once a month. At least that’s what I think this guy was doing. He’d walk and stop for a bit and then walk and stop again which I think meant he was mapping the beach.guy


I pulled into my spot in the closed mouth by the jetty and watched.

How the river’s mouth closes

The big wave coming over the jetty from the ocean is real brown, which means it’s full of sand. The wave throws the sand over the jetty and onto the beach which piles up and closes the river’s mouth.  This can happen when the ocean gets rough enough to pick the sand up in the incoming waves. Click to enlarge and you’ll see the brown waves better.



Fog moves in

As I was sitting there the fog moved in around me and all the critters down there.

I could see this harbor seal across from me doing something, fishing around I guess.seal


Not far from the seal, this great blue heron was fishing too.heron


To the right of them were a bunch of pelicans and some seagulls and cormorants.birdies


What are those pelicans doing

It was fairly foggy so I moved my boat over a little closer to the brown pelicans as they seemed to be doing something over there.

I saw this one with what I thought was a rock, but as I got closer it turned out to be a little stick.stickpel


It would toss the stick in the air a bit, and try to catch it or let it go in the water and then retrieve it. I thought maybe it was just playing with it.stick


The seagulls seemed indifferent as the pelican continued to play with the little stick.pelstick


But then I noticed these two mature pelicans playing with sticks too, close by. I think this is a a female on the left and a male on the right, maybe parents?

I think the mature males have a bunch of yellow on their white heads and the female does not, but still has a white head as compared to the younger one above playing with the stick.pels


The female moved off and the younger one joined the male as the male played with the stick.pelicans


So, what’s gong on? Are they just playing? Maybe, but……………..sticpels


Practicing eating fish

What I think was really going on was the parents were teaching the younger pelican how to maneuver the fish it catches to it’s throat so it can consume them. It’s one thing to catch a fish, but with that big bill, the fish has to be maneuvered to it’s throat without some other bird stealing it. Practice, practice.

A pelican can just dive and get a pouch full of fish and it just tips it’s head up and swallows them, no problem. But often times they also fish with their big beak, just getting a fish near the bill tip and then this maneuver kicks in.

I watched at this spot for a bit then headed back up the river, foggy all the way. I stopped at the upper end of Penny Island for a bit, then headed on in for the day as I still have some prepping to do for my trip.

Adventure time

You won’t hear from me for awhile

I’ll be going back out in the boonies again with very little internet access, so you won’t likely hear from me until I get to some internet access, which might be a week or more,  just depending how things work out. We are going through Winnemucca, Nevada and then slowly working our way up to the Duck Valley Indian Reservation where I hope to get some internet access, but one never knows out there.

I’ll be having a good time, so just sit back and wait, is all I can tell ya and I’ll try to be safe. :O)

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One Response to A Buck, a Surveyor and the Brown Pelicans Tossing Sticks

  1. Anonymous says:

    Stop by to say farewell before you head for the high desert. Got together with Edie and Dave yesterday. They lived in Guerneville many years ago and their parents operated Riviera Court. Dave had the Press Democrat paper route in downtown Guerneville and I would help him sometime up on the hill. We walked the cemetery and we remembered many who have gone before us. Two guys had a man lift and were cutting back some of the Azaleas and other trees that were taking over. I believe the one follows was Paul Barry from Cazadero. He volunteers with the historical society.

    Ended up out at Armstrong Woods and went for a nice walk. Noticed all the Fife Creek work as we were driving out. Beautiful concept, not sure it will last if the heavy rains come. Dave and I observed the creek is much wider up at the park then throttles down before the school. Years ago when they built the road, houses and school I think they tried to corral in the creek too much?
    Trying to avoid a potential problem this winter is good! I’m glad to see construction workers and heavy equipment repairing our countryside.

    Safe travels, Ken

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