Following Around A Wild Turkey While Paddling in the Russian River Estuary

Monday March 9, 2015 Jenner CA.

River’s mouth is open

It was foggy today as I drove into Jenner. I continued on to the river’s mouth overlook on the highway.

This was my view as I looked down on the open river’s mouth. Some harbor seals and cormorants on the left beach. There’s some surfers out there too, but they are hard to see.russianriver


Waffling fog

I drove back to the boat ramp and put my boat in the water and headed across to the island and on up the river. The fog was waffling, in and out. There was a low wind that was blowing off the ocean, a bit on the cold side.

This was how it looked to me as I paddled along the south shoreline.foggy


Was that a turkey gobble?

As I was paddling along, I thought I heard a turkey gobble, so I stopped to listen. Sure enough, there was a gobble across the river from me. But I couldn’t tell if the turkey was down in the field or up on the ridge?

I paddled across the river  and listened by the shore here. I finally detected the wild turkey up on the ridge in front of me. I saw a black dot on the hill but wasn’t sure if it was a rock or a turkey. Finally, the rock moved so I knew it must be the turkey.ridgespot


The turkey is quite a ways from me as I watch it move across the grassy hillside. This was the first place I saw it. It’s about in the center of this photo, moving to the right.turkey


The turkey was working it’s way across the ridge. I watched and followed it across the ridge. It gobbled every once in awhile. I didn’t hear any answers to it’s gobble, ,maybe it did?turkey3


The turkey kept going across the ridge like it was going somewhere? Eventually, I lost sight of it as it continued on it’s way.turkey4


Having lost sight of the turkey, I  paddled up the river a bit further where I ran into these two geese with a calf and some ducks too.geese


A hunting sea lion

While I was checking out the geese, I heard a big splash across the river and this was my view as I looked. A sea lion was hunting by the shore across the river from me.sealion


Turkey’s back

I paddled across the river to where the sea lion was and notice some turkey vultures up on the side of buzzard rock. I was going to get a picture of them, when I notice the wild turkey just appeared back across the river from me, so I headed back across the river where the turkey was just coming down to the river’s shore. It walked right by these turkey vultures devouring a dead calf.turkey5


I paddled along with the turkey as it walked along the shoreline, then it stopped. Next it jumped into the air and flew across the river. This is what I saw as he flew across the river and landed on the other side.turkeyfly


Can you spot the turkey?

The wild turkey landed on this rocky hill side. Can you see it up there?turkeyland


I paddled across the river again as it looked like the turkey had landed in a real lush spot, and might make some good pics?

This is what I saw as I paddled closer.turkey7


He was looking around figuring out which way to go as he had landed in a real steep rocky place that wasn’t easy to maneuver in. It finally decided on which way to go and walked off and was gone, except for the occasional gobble that could be heard.turkey6


Turkey vulture on Buzzard Rock

Now that I was back across the river where I’d seen the turkey vultures up on the side of buzzard rock, I had another look. Sure enough, there was a turkey vulture up on the rock, laying down like the one I saw yesterday. See it laying there in the center of the picture. I don’t think it is nesting there as it’s rather out in the open.buzzard


I was a bit chilled as I paddled back down the river and was thinking of going in for the day. But as I got down around the Penny Island area, the sun came out a bit and it was warmer.

I went by this male mallard.mallard


The chill had gotten into my bones, so I headed on in for the day and went on home.

Raking leaves and enjoying the day

At home, the sun was out so I puttered in the yard raking up leaves that had fallen off the big trees last winter. I sat around a lot in my chairs enjoying the yard as the sun went down and that was my day.

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3 Responses to Following Around A Wild Turkey While Paddling in the Russian River Estuary

  1. Richard says:

    enjoyed your pictures. Going to make a trip along the coast. Would like to hit the estuaries on up to grays harbor. I fish a lot out of my kayak but mostly in the ocean. do your friends fish the salmon runs out of there kayak? two year retired and so much fun!

    • admin says:

      Hi Richard,
      Some of my friends fish out of their kayaks for steelhead in the Russian River. Salmon fishing in the Russian river has been closed for a number of years, as they are working on trying to bring the fish back, after a long time of overfishing. Hooking a big fish from a kayak can be a lot of fun for sure. I agree, nice to be retired.

  2. mary says:

    To use an often overused word, this day feels magical, even the chill and the baby calf. I loved following the wild turkey and even though I had a hard time finding it in the one picture, I was able to channel Bob’s eyes and see it. So cool. Thanks– your blog is my favorite thing to read.

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