Birds on the Russian River Estuary

Monday September 15, 2014 Jenner CA.

First thing this morning, I went by a friend’s house in Monte Rio to see if I could figure out why his little fridge compressor is getting hot. I measured the voltage on the plug,  but it looked ok, so I set him up with a  plug in voltage meter so he could measure the voltage himself without getting shocked and left to kayak at Jenner.

Paddling along

It was sunny and very little wind when I arrived at Jenner and put my boat in the water. I headed over to Penny island and then on up the river and this is what it looked like as I paddled along.russianriver


Some white pelicans were resting on the shore, just below Paddy’s rock.pelicans


I noticed some turkey vultures on the bank just above Paddy’s rock, so went over to investigate. It seemed they were only getting some sun, so I left them and continued on up the river.vultures


I paddled up to this spot and sat under the trees for a bit, before heading  back down the river.restarea


Ashore at musk rat nests

As I passed the musk rat nest area, I decided to go ashore here, where I fell over the bank the other day. You can see the nest, if you look carefully, just to the left of my bow and up. The nests are made of sticks and reeds, so blend into the landscape very well. The brush to the right of the nest is where I fell into the berry bushes, as I slid down the bank a couple days ago.muskratnest


I went ashore and went back to the spot I fell over the bank, by this musk rat nest. I checked for the entrance hole I was investigating when I fell over, but it wasn’t there. The owner of the nest had piled more sticks on top of it, which I uncovered to check out. The entrance was too large for a regular rat, about four to six inches in diameter, so this must be a musk rat nest. The nest is hard to see in the sticks.ratnest


Looking for the main trail

I puttered around the area for awhile looking for the main trail that goes down the river from here. I found it and it’s full of poison oak like most of the trails here. This is the end of the trail I call poison oak alley trail, that comes up the south side of the river, from down by Penny Island.

My view looking out from the musk rat nest area, down to the town of Jenner.jenner


I got back in my boat and sat in the area for awhile longer, resting up, then headed on down the river on the south side.

Osprey on it’s perch

I spied this osprey resting up on a dead tree as I paddled by.osprey


Flicker on the ground

And as I passed eagle’s landing, I saw something moving up on the grassy bank and zeroed in. A pair of flickers were eating things in the grass. Seeds maybe?

Here is one of the flickers on the ground, in the grass. Look carefully, I had to.flicker



Across the river from the flickers, where a bunch of geese resting on the shoreline.geese


Hunting Merganser ducks

I continued on down the back channel of Penny Island, where I could see some birds splashing and fishing away. As I approached, I could see merganser ducks fishing.mergansers


This great blue heron was hanging around with the ducks trying to get in on the action. Shortly after this, the ducks went ashore for a rest and  to digest the fish they just fed on.heron


Harbor seals in the water

I cleared the Island and ran into these harbor seals in the water and sat around with them for awhile before continuing on down the the river’s mouth area.harborseals


River’s  mouth area

I arrived at the mouth area and sat around for a bit, looking out into the Pacific ocean through the open river’s mouth.rivermouth


It was just starting to change to high tide, so the incoming current was picking up, so I found some foam that wasn’t moving to sit in to get out of the  current, so I could rest and not have to paddle to maintain my spot.foam


Brown Pelican

I sat there for about a half hour, then went over by the birds resting on the shore and took this photo of this brown pelican, with some seagulls.brownpelican


Black Birds

I headed on back towards the boat ramp and pulled over to the shore just before I got there where there were some black birds sitting on the shoreline.

Here is one of them that was the closest to me, keeping an eye on me.blackbird


That pretty much wraps up my day on the river, for another nice one.

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2 Responses to Birds on the Russian River Estuary

  1. Bob Noble says:

    Hi Jon,
    You describe cormorants. They are excellent swimmers and divers which makes them excellent fish catchers. There’s at least a couple of kinds of them on the river sometimes in huge numbers.

  2. Jon Lucca says:

    Thanks for posting this special advernture at the Jenner Estuary and more.
    I wonder if you happen to know the name of the bird commonly found along the lower Russian River. I see them when I am kayaking. They swim like swift ducks and then dive very quickly under water. Very black and shiny with long graceful necks and pointed bills. I think up close they give off an iredesecnt green.
    Do you by chance know the name of this bird?

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