Harbor Seal Pups and a Turkey Vulture Nest Encounter

Thursday April 30, 2015 Jenner CA.

Paddled down to the river’s mouth area

It was sunny and clear with a low wind as I drove into Jenner this morning and put my boat in the water. I paddled across the river to Penny Island and decided to head down to the river’s mouth to see what was going on in that area.

I stopped here for a bit on the islands edge looking down towards the ocean. The little white cloud is the ocean breaking a wave over the jetty down where I’m headed. I could hear the ocean as it pounded the sandy beach down that way with big waves as I paddled along.russianriver


I could hear these terns screeching before I could see them resting on some gravel near the islands bottom end.terns


The river’s mouth is almost closed

This was my view as I approached the jetty. Big ocean waves breaking over the barely open river’s mouth.
The river’s mouth is just barely going out right at the end of the jetty. It’s high tide right now, so I’m not sure the river will flow into the ocean at low tide and with the pounding waves it may close up the river even more, but only time will tell.rivermouth


Harbor seal pups

There were quite a few harbor seal pups resting on the beach with their moms. Here’s two pups with their moms. The pups didn’t seem to be crying as much today, so it was much more peaceful in the area. Their consistent crying can make the place rather nervy at times.sealpups


Some of the seal moms and pups where swimming around in the water near me. Here’s a mom with her pup on the right, laying on it’s back. Mom was checking me out, but the pup could care less.seals


Headed up the river

I headed up the river after awhile and was just below Paddy’s rock when I noticed this young steer pushing it’s head into the green vegetation here and then doing some kind of frolicking and dancing. The weed must have been like a cat nip? The animal was sure having fun with it.steer


Just past Paddy’s rock I paddled by these two geese which were headed to shore.geese


The low wind was down to a breeze by now, so I decided to put ashore at Muskrat Nest beach to walk up to Buzzard rock to check on a suspected turkey vulture nest there, which I wanted to confirm.

Here’s the nice grassy spot where I went ashore for my little walk up to the rock.kayak


Buzzard rock and a vulture’s nest

I was headed over to this rock where I suspected the vulture nest is below it.buzzardrock


This is my view just as I approached the top of Buzzard rock looking down the river towards the little town of Jenner.jenner


Low flying vulture

As I neared the top of the rock there was a turkey vulture flying around just over head that would come and go and I was wondering if it was the bird with the nest?

I watched as a raven flew by then turned and came back and the turkey vulture flew after it and the raven  flew off without a fight. The vulture disappeared after awhile.

I decided to go down where I thought the nest was and see what would happen? When I got down near where I think the nest is, I looked up to see this turkey vulture right above me with it’s wings up like that. Maybe a warning?vulture



I took some pictures of the bird.vulture3


When I stepped within about six feet of where I think the nest is, it roughened it’s feathers and hissed, so I backed up and decided not to press the bird. Here is the bird with it’s roughed up feathers.turkeyvulture


I headed back to the rock’s top where the bird was and it was gone when I got there, likely back on it’s nest.

I wouldn’t want to mess with one of these birds. They are made to tear into flesh and I see they have big claws too. I also hear they can regurgitate smelly stuff on ya, so I think these birds can take care of themselves.

See the claw on this one?vultureclaw


I saw what I wanted to see and will keep an eye on this nest and likely not get too close as not to stress the bird.

From there I headed back to my boat and paddled down along the river’s edge back to the boat ramp and went on home for the day and that was my day for another good one.

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