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.
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.
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.
A Great Blue Heron fished along the northern shore.
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.
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.