Seals, Pelicans and Birds Paddling Around the Russian River Estuary

Wednesday July 16, 2014 Jenner CA.

And the Biologists are off on an adventure

I arrived at Jenner around noon and put my boat in the water. Looked like it was going to be a real nice day with just a breeze, some sun and some clouds in the sky, but mostly real nice. No bugs either, around here, which I really appreciate.

I paddled over to Penny Island and went up it’s shoreline heading up the river. Something moved on the big redwood log up ahead, so I approached to see what it was. A great blue heron was walking over the log, headed out to a branch and some mallard ducks were also resting in the spot.heron


The heron walked out to this spot and kept an eye on me as I paddled on by.heron3


Headed to Paddy’s rock

I paddled up river to Paddy’s rock checking things out along the way, stopping often. Most of the birds were roosting on the shoreline and not feeding today. I think they do most of their feeding in the morning?

I crossed over to eagle’s landing and went ashore for a bit at this spot. While there I saw a young bold eagle fly by and land over on the other side of the river. It was just getting it’s white in the tail.kayak


Eventually, I got back in my boat and headed on down to the river’s mouth area taking the north side of Penny island to get down there.

River’s mouth area

As I approached the mouth area, John joined me. He had been over at the Goat Rock parking lot picking up trash that the visitors leave.  I think all the cigarette butts piss him off the most, as people just throw them all over the place instead of taking them with them.

The high tide was just coming in and the water was really ripping, coming into the river, as we sat in our boats just inside the left side of the mouth in this spot.rivermouthbirds


Looking across the river’s mouth, harbor seals were resting on the beach. The ocean is out to the left.seal


There were lots of harbor seals in the water today, swimming around us as we paddled around the area.seals


Some of them came closer than others.sealface


John and I paddled  back up along the ocean beach, staying in the river. These harbor seals are resting in the shallows. Behind them are some seagulls. Those rail looking things are just that. Steel rails from the tracks that brought the big rocks out to build the jetty originally.rails


As we approached the west end of Penny Island, there were a lot of white pelicans and also some terns on the left, just resting and taking it easy.islandbirds


I guess if you have a bill like a pelican, you’d need to stretch it a bit, and they sure seem to do that a lot. Some of the gang.pelicans


The sun was at a good angle lighting the pelicans up nicely for pictures and while talking with John, I drifted closer to the Pelicans. I started backing away before I spooked them.pelicans2


Biologists start working into the night

As I was going in for the day around four PM, I saw the fish tracking biologists putting their boat in, which was late for them as they usually start at seven in the morning.biologists


Turns out, they are going out later and staying out until ten PM tracking fish.

First to check out the lumens

As far as I know they will be the first biologists in the estuary that will be out to see the phyto phosphorous plankton, which I call lumens. They have an electric motor and are at a better angle standing in their boat than I am in my kayak, so they should be able to see a lot more of it and what is going on with it than I can.


The lumens come into the estuary with the salt water during high tide. This means they live in salt water and as far as I know they don’t live long in fresh water, so where you see them, it’s salt water and were you don’t, it’s fresh water. This means you can see how the waters move and mix in the estuary when the tide comes in and goes out. It also means anything that moves in the lumens, glows when it moves, so one can see the fish when they move under the water.

There aren’t good lumens early tonight, but they might see some of them, but the tides will improve and it should get better for them as high tide gets closer to happening just before dark, later in the week.

I think the biologists will see some neat stuff

So, since they are the first biologists that will be checking out the lumens, here, I’m thinking they might just have a nice little adventure discovering what I have so far and likely a whole lot more.

Home for a nap and some chair hopping

I went on home and napped a bit, then went out and started some more water on fruit trees in the yard. I also did some planning on what parts I will need to put the pipes in the great ditch I dug. I think I know what I need now and I can now make a list.

Otherwise, I just sat around and hopped chairs until dark.

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