Windy Paddle and the Eagles Eat Coot

Tuesday November 17, 2015 Jenner CA.

Winds are up

I could see the wind was up a bit as I drove into Jenner this morning, maybe ten or fifteen miles an hour. Not too bad, but a a bit on the cool side.

I put my boat in the water and paddled across the river to Penny Island and into the little channel on the east end, which is mostly out of the wind. I paddled in under the trees and just sat around and


I could see that it was going to be a windy day, so I decided to go up the river just a little ways.There weren’t too many birds and critters out today, they don’t seem to like the wind either.

I paddled on over to the south shoreline and made my way up to the eagle’s landing area about a quarter mile ahead. With the waves in the water from the wind it wasn’t going to be a good day to get any pictures.upriver


I paddled by this little least grebe diving and fishing along the shoreline. It let me get a couple pictures, then dove under the water and disappeared.grebe


Coots and the eagles

When I got to Eagle’s landing, the wind was blowing too much to stop three, so I crossed over the river to Paddy’s rock and started down the north shoreline looking for birds. Mostly all I saw were these mud hens, which you can just barely see in this picture. However, just up ahead above the grass on the right, I saw a bird diving repeatedly. coots


The bird had some real bright white on it, a bald headed eagle was diving on something, but I couldn’t see what. I could just see the eagle come up and then dive down out of sight repeatedly.eagle


I watched as two eagles flew across the river and landed on a limb on a big redwood log. I couldn’t tell what they were doing, but one of the birds was pestering the other bird. By the time I was able to cross the river and paddle over near where the eagle’s were, one of them flew off and headed down towards the ocean.

The other eagle was still sitting on the log and appeared to be eating a coot, so that must have been what I saw it diving on. Coots provide meals for a number of the critters when they are in the estuary.eagle2


I tried to get a decent picture, but with the wind blowing the water around, it wasn’t easy. Shortly after this photo, the eagle took it’s coot and flew up the river with it.

I crossed over the river to the little channel on the upper end of Penny island and shared the spot with this great blue heron.heron


I hung around the channel for a bit before I decided it was too windy and cool so I’d call it a day.

But first, I paddled up the north side of the island a ways and stopped in this spot for a bit, looking on down towards the ocean and the closed river’s mouth.river


Visitor center repairs

I turned and headed on in towards the visitor center where the guys are working on the roof and the deck. I bet working on the roof today was a bit of a hassle with the winds


I paddled on in to the boat ramp and put my boat on the car and went on home for the day.

Digging and cutting

At home I decided to dig out a small plum tree that was pushing my water pipe up out of the ground, by my old well. I had to cut the tree into small pieces to get the pipe out of it where it had been growing around it and pushing it up and out of the ground. I was being careful as to not break the pipe or I’d have some more urgent stuff to repair. I was careful and didn’t break anything. After much digging and cutting, I had the small stump out and then just covered the hole I just dug back up.

That was my day.

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3 Responses to Windy Paddle and the Eagles Eat Coot

  1. Patti Godwin says:

    Hey, sorry I’ve not had the pleasure of running in to you yet.
    We’ve been real busy at home do I didn’t get in the water Tuesday. Still hoping for a sunset paddle this week – in less wind!

  2. Dan says:

    It’s good to know the Bald Eagles are back. I haven’t seen one in a while. I went out to Jenner this afternoon, (saw your car in the parking lot) but I decided it was too windy, and, like you did yesterday, chose to paddle from Monte Rio instead to get out of the wind.
    I paddled upstream from MR. It was nice up there. Much less wind. I got bumped by a harbor seal up near Guerneville.

    • Bob says:

      Hi Dan,
      Yes a bit windy yesterday, much less wind at Monte Rio. The Vacation beach summer dam you paddled up to is actually the area that the river gets backed up to on high tides and when the river’s mouth is closed up. With the mouth closed as it is now, the river is mostly a big lake up to that point with very little current. The seals you tangled with are likely some of my buddies. There’s five or six harbor seals that stay mostly in the river and hunt up the river a lot which don’t seem to be part of the large pack of seals that hang by the river’s mouth area.

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