Birds and Biologists While Kayaking in the Russian River Estuary

Thursday May 29, 2014 Jenner CA.

Biologists netting fish

The wind was down at Jenner this morning as I arrived around 10:30AM. Ray already had his boat in the water so I got mine in the water and we headed across to Penny Island. We decided to go on down to the river’s mouth as it was going to high tide soon.

On the way down we could see some biologists netting fish on the shore down near the mouth, so we headed on over to see what they were doing.

They were using a net to catch small fish. They were looking for small steelhead to implant tracking devices in so they can track where the fish go in the estuary, using a boat with receivers on it. But they were just catching small salmon instead of steelhead so far in this spot.netfish


The were also doing something to cause the small fish to purge what they had in their stomachs, so they could see what they were eating. They were eating small shrimp like critters.

Here are the biologists extracting what the little fish were eating.biologists


The river’s mouth is wide open

We watched them for awhile then left them at it and went on down to the river’s mouth for a spell.

The ocean was real rough when we got there, looking out the mouth to the ocean in this view.rivermouth


We sat around the mouth area for an hour or so with the harbor seals swimming around us.

Eventually Ray and I headed on back up the river to the channel on the back side of Penny Island.

A walk on Penny Island eating berries

Ray wanted to go for a walk on the island and I thought that would be good as I could eat some more berries that are getting ripe on the island.

We put ashore on the east end of the island for our little walk.

Here Ray is walking through the eucalyptus trees on the island as we started our walk.walk


We walked about half way around the island eating berries as we went. They are still getting ripe, but we found enough to eat.

After that walk, Ray decided to go on home, so I followed him to the ramp, then headed back down to the west end of Penny Island where I went over to the slot to take a break for a bit.


When I came back out and started around the west end of Penny island I noticed some birds that looked interesting. Closer examination showed them to look like this. A sand piper I think?piper

Added later: A commenter pointed out that these where Long-billed Curlews. Thank you.

This is a pair of them.pipers


I headed back up to the east end of Penny Island where I ran into Steve in his kayak.

We headed on up the river, crossing over to the north side, headed up to Paddy’s rock.

Momma duck swam by with her family. Mallards.ducks


We passed these geese crossing the river in front of us. I think it is a family with the little ones almost grown up.geese



Rested up at Paddy’s rock

We got out at Paddy’s rock for rest, then crossed the river on over to rat nest beach where we took a break in our kayaks for a bit then started working our way back down the river a a very leisurely pace.

I spied a lone loon near the shore line. I thought there was a pair of them here yesterday and today I only see one, so maybe they are nesting?loon


My view as we paddled on back down the river along the shore line.view


We saw some more geese across the river, so we crossed again to go check them out.geese2


By this time it was about seven PM so we headed in for the day.

The sun was heading down for the day as we left for the day.sundownview


That was my day enjoying the water.

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2 Responses to Birds and Biologists While Kayaking in the Russian River Estuary

  1. admin says:

    I really didn’t think it was a piper, but couldn’t remember the Long-billed Curlew. Older age and memory, you know. :O) We don’t get many of these around Jenner, so far.
    This app sounds like a good one, I hope they make it for window’s computers soon.

  2. Rand says:

    Long-billed Curlew
    took a snap of your pic w/ the new free app
    the app shows range and time of year as well as the call. Wiki description.
    Stilt Sandpiper was close but the curved beak is the feature.
    More info here:

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