Paddling Around the Russian River Estuary with Some of the Fall Birds that are Arriving.

Saturday October 4, 2014 Jenner CA.

The day started out with a little work. I needed to do some work on hooking up the electrical to my electric gate, which meant I needed to install an outlet for a plug in the gate box. I took my time doing that, sitting around a a bit in the yard.

Headed for Jenner to kayak

Around noon, I headed out for Jenner to kayak for the day. There were a lot of bicycles on the road. There was some kind of ride on, I think it’s called the GrandFondo or something like that. Most of the bicycles where coming towards me, so they were more of a problem for cars coming towards me, but I had to watch out for those cars as some of them  crossed the double yellow line to get by the cyclists.

Jenner was fairly busy today, that’s why I waited a bit to come down today. I was able to get my boat in the water without too much trouble and headed on over to the east end of Penny Island.

The river’s mouth is still closed and the water level of the estuary is up a bit.

Penny Island

This was my view as I approached the east end of Penny Island.island


The coots are coming

I spied some coots. They come here in the fall to eat the dead vegetation which is mostly under the water. I don’t think there will be as many of them this year as there were last year, as there was a lot less weeds that grew in the estuary this year, because the estuary water was much saltier this year than the last two years, so not much fresh water stuff grows. When there is some fresh water in the lower estuary, the weeds grow much more than when it’s not, as most of the weeds tend to be more fresh water originated

The first coots of the season arrived.coots


Harbor seals taking it easy

I paddled on over to the south shore and headed on up the river. These harbor seals were taking it easy on this redwood log, with a few cormorants.jenner


These guys checked me out as I passed on by.seals


Honking geese

I paddled over to the north side of the river to see what birds where on the shoreline in that area. Some geese and some ducks were resting by the shore as I passed and some cows too.geese


Just after I passed those geese, a bunch more of them came honking down the river and started to land, but changed their minds and continued on down the river.geesefly


Just past the geese were some merganser ducks resting.mergansers


Muskrat nest beach

I went on by Paddy’s rock and over to the muskrat nest area, were this bird took off and landed just ahead of me. Looks like a crowned night heron.heron


Muskrat nest beach was right by the bird, so I pulled in for a break. With the water up, the muskrat nests are almost in the water.

Muskrat nest

There is a muskrat nest right in front of my boat in this picture. Nests are about six feet high or so and about three or four feet in diameter. They are made of sticks and reeds.muskrat


I sat around the muskrat nest area for a bit before heading back down the river.

Little grebes back too

I saw this little bird dive and come back up as I sat there. A little grebe of some kind. They’ve returned like the coots and this is the first one I’ve seen in awhile.grebe


Penny Island is starting to get flooded

I paddled back down the river to the west end of Penny Island which gets flooded when the estuary water level gets high enough. Water is entering the island, but not enough for me to paddle into it yet.pennyisland


Spotted Orb Weaver spider

I noticed this thing on the grasses, about two feet above the water and went over to investigate. Turned out to be one of the spiders we’ve been seeing in the bushes around the area this summer. The body is about three quarters of an inch in diameter. It’s called a spotted orb weaver spider. This one is about two feet above the rising estuary water, before it’s going to have a serious problem with getting drowned.orbspider


I’m sitting in my boat in some grass on the very western end of Penny Island, looking down towards the river’s mouth, where I’m about to head out to.riverview


River’s mouth area

This is the river’s mouth area, mostly closed, but still open to the higher high tides. It’s low tide right now and the ocean is mostly calm., so no one is getting washed off the jetty right now.rivermouth


The level of the estuary is up a bit since I was last here about a week ago. Both the lower river summer dams are out now, so all the water from behind those dams is down here now, so the estuary should rise much slower now.

Resting birds

This was my view looking to the right of the closed river mouth. Lost of birds, seagulls and brown pelicans mostly.northshore


Here are some of the brown pelicans swimming around in the area as I watched.pelicans


Talked with John, the trash guy

John, the main guy who picks up most of the trash in and around Jenner came by in his kayak and we shoot the bull for awhile. He said the lady that got rescued by the jetty the other day had a compound fracture of her leg. Ouch.

I said good bye to John and headed on back to the boat ramp at the visitor center.

I went on home and took a nap and then went out in the yard and mostly sat around chair hopping until it got too cool and it was getting dark.

Nice day at Jenner.

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