Russian River Estuary, August 22, 2016

It was quiet, cold, and foggy at the mouth of the Russian River this morning.

I paddled down to the estuary’s mouth to find it wide open. The tide had finished ebbing before I arrived. Cold, relatively clear briny water from the ocean had begun to make its way through the mouth and into the lower river.

8:22:16 Mouth is Open

Several Harbor Seals and Pelicans swam in a zone just inside the mouth where the waters from the ocean and river swirled, mixed and mingled. They were after fish.

Nearby, at the downstream shore of Penny Island, a small group of White Pelicans sat near a small group of Brown Pelicans. I’ve never seen the two species group so close to one another before.

Brown & White Pelicans Jenner 8:22:16

A half dozen of Turkey Vultures—including this immature individual—loitered along the southern shore of Penny Island. They preened and posed, sometimes stretching their wings out to be warmed by a sun not quite strong enough to break through the overcast.

TV Penny Island 8:22:16

A Great Blue Heron fished along the northern shore.

GBH Jenner 8:22:16

I paddled a short way upriver to a gravelly beach to stop for tea and lunch, hoping for something dramatic, interesting or unusual to happen.

Lunch on the Island 8:22:16

But nothing did. The sun tried to break through the coastal fog without much success. Birds commonly seen in the estuary flew or swam by, none close enough for a good photo.

After an hour I paddled back to the launch, lifted by kayak back on the car and headed home.


2 thoughts on “Russian River Estuary, August 22, 2016

  1. Dan, I apologize for not having commented in such a long while. But your photos are wonderful! I love your stories. And I’ve got to get our on the Russian River!

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