River Otters Galore

Monday January 25, 2016 Jenner CA.

Lots of Otters today and an otter’s video

It was overcast, but the wind was down as I drove into Jenner this morning and put my boat in the water. I paddled across to Penny Island and was sitting in this spot in the upper end channel just taking it easy deciding which way to go today. All of a sudden some otters popped up by those bushes in front of me. Three river otters.jenner


They spotted me and checked me out.otter8


They moved through the little channel and out the backside and swam across the river. I followed them. When they reached the opposite river bank, they climbed out of the water for just a bit, before moving on up the river.otter2


I moved on up ahead of them hoping they’d climb out on a big redwood log, so I waited.

One of the otters did get up on the big redwood log just long enough for me to get this picture, then back in the water it went moving on up the river along the shoreline.otter3


I moved out in the river a bit to give them some space and make them think I wasn’t interested in them. We were moving on up the river, me out here and them by the shoreline to my right. Once I thought they’d gotten use to me, I moved back closer to the bushes to try  and get some good pictures.river


I moved on up to Otter’s log thinking they might climb up on it, but my boat drifted too close to the log and they swam on past it.

They stopped at this spot for a brief moment.otter4


I continued to follow them up past Eagle’s landing. I pulled on ahead of them and sat to let them catch up, but, something else happened.

Before the otter’s I was following caught up, a bunch of other otter’s that were coming down the river showed up, maybe about a dozen of them. They move around so fast, it’s not easy to get a count sometimes. I was curious to see what would happen when the two groups of otter’s met.

Not much, a bunch of chirping and grunting sounds. I decided to follow the new group back down the river, so I turned and started drifting down river with the current. The otters I was following originally continued on up the river.

Muskrat nest

With most of the leaves off the bushes, I spotted this muskrat nest along the bank. A pile of sticks about six feet high along the river bank. There’s lots of Muskrat nests down here, over fifty I think, but I rarely seen any of them as they are nocturnal.muskratnest


The big group of otters seemed to split up and continued to move down the river hunting as they went.

I followed and tried to get some good otter pics.otter6


I went back by Eagle’s landing where some of the otters went to shore for a bit.landing


These three otters went to shore at Eagle’s landing for a bit.otter5


I followed the otters down the river

They didn’t stay long and went back into the water and continued on down the river with me following. I lost them but picked up some of the other ones. With this many otters, they were everywhere so I didn’t have much trouble finding some.otter9


There were quite a number of ducks on the water, mostly golden eyes with some buffle heads mixed in too. They don’t like otters and flew off when the otters got near them.ducks


I lost most of the otters as I approached Penny Island. I decided to go on down along the side of Penny Island and spotted some of the otters on this debris. They were fishing off it.otters10


We were both surprised

They all dove in so I moved to the debris and was surprised when this one popped up in front of me on the end of the debris. It was a bit surprised too.otter11


They moved across the river hunting as they went, so I left them to it and continued down along the side of Penny Island to it’s bottom end where I sat for a spell, before heading back up the side of the island where I ran into this great blue heron fishing away.heron


I didn’t see the heron catch any fish as I watched. I headed across the river to the boat ramp and took my boat out of the water and went on home for the day.

Monte Rio boat ramp

I decided to stop in Monte Rio to check out the boat ramp, mud I mean. When the river comes up and gets muddy, it deposits mud on it’s banks, which means the boat ramp gets real muddy, especially if the river water level stays up like it has been. The river water level is about ten feet above the summer level at the ramp. I got my flat shovel out and shoveled what I could, the part that was now out of the water, about ten feet of the ramp. The mud was from a half inch to about two inches down near the water and a bit slurpy too. I did what I could and then left for home.

The sun was out nicely when I got home, so I mostly sat around the yard enjoying the day, thinking about what I needed to do in the yard to get it going for spring. As the sun went behind the mountain to my west, the day cooled and I went in the house and that was my day.

Russian River Otters Videos

Here’s some of the video I shot today of some of the otters.

Russian River Otters Video

Russian River Estuary River Otters

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One Response to River Otters Galore

  1. Rick Jeffery says:

    Amazing pictures of the otters, Bob! Especially liked the one you “surprised” :)

    My wife & I are returning to Jenner for another 5 days of pure relaxation, beginning Sunday 1/31, hope we get the chance to meet you this time. Cheers – Rick

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