Rough Ocean, Eagles and Birds, Seals and Sea Lions

Tuesday January 12, 2016 Jenner CA.

Chilly wind

The wind was somewhere between five and ten miles an hour this morning as I put my boat in the water. That was ok as I could handle a little wind like that, but there was also a chill in the air, which again made me think I should go back to Monte Rio, but I already had my boat off the car.

I paddled across the river to Penny Island and right away decided to put into the little channel on the upper end of Penny Island to get out of the wind.

But as I entered the channel I could see this wind was coming from the north and blowing right into the channel.

I’m just entering the windy channel that is usually out of the wind.windy


The wind almost never blows into this little channel so that was a surprise. Since the wind was coming from the north, I looked around to the island back channel to see if the island would protect me from the wind. I found a calm spot here and sat and watched things for a half hour or so.



First eagle

The wind seemed less down the back channel so eventually I started paddling down that way and thought there was a turkey vulture sitting on a this big redwood stump. Closer inspection showed this to be the immature bald eagle that has been hanging around here lately.eagle


I left it sitting there and paddled down to the end of the island and stopped here for a bit looking down to the open river’s mouth area. I could see the big waves breaking down by the mouth. The waves were pounding away and making a lot of noise as they crashed on the jetty.island2


River’s open mouth

I paddled down to the open river’s mouth which looked like this. Big waves were breaking over the jetty.ocean


I sat in front of the open mouth checking things out, but with the big waves coming into the river through the mouth, I didn’t stay long.mouth


Checking out the vultures

I saw some turkey vultures on the sandy beach off to the left of the mouth, so I started heading over that way to see what they were up to.

I passed by these harbor seals checking me out on the way.seals3


I was watching this brown pelican bathing in the water when it took off.pelican


Second eagle

When I got close enough to check out the turkey vultures, I was surprised to find this bald headed eagle eating something.birds


The eagle lifted up what it was eating once as I watched. It was a big fish carcass. The vultures watch patiently, likely thinking, eat well as I’ll be eating you eventually. The raven waited their turn too. The eagle is boss or at least it thinks it is, but the vulture always gets the final say. :O)eagle2


Sea lion swallows a steelhead fish

I continued on up along the sandy beach and then started crossing over the river headed on in for the day. Up ahead I saw a bunch of seagulls suddenly dive down to this spot and I saw some big splashing too, so I got my camera ready for something to surface as this usual means something has caught a big fish.seagulls


It turned out to be a sea lion with a big fish that was going up the river to spawn, likely a steelhead fish. I watched the sea lion surface several times. They get the head into their mouths and try to swallow the big fish whole, head first. The big fish don’t go down easily and the sea lions have to choke it down until it disappears and it’s all over. All this happens rather fast as they want to swallow it before another critter gets any of it or it gets stolen from it and they lose it completely.

This was as close as I could get before it swallowed it and was gone.lion


Between the fish the eagle was eating and this fish the sea lion just caught, I’d say the steelhead are still running up the river to spawn.

Now the wind dies

I continued on to the boat ramp and the wind seemed to die down as I approached.jenner


Headed to the VA lab

I took my boat out of the water and drove away headed to the Vet’s place to draw some blood for an upcoming annual Doc’s appointment next week. I considered doing some more shopping, but since I don’t like to shop much, I went on home instead and that was my day.

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