Estero Americano is, again, a lovely place to paddle. On my last visit on February 13 the mouth had been open and the Estero’s tidally-influenced waters were too low to paddle to the coast.
But when I arrived at the launch this morning the calm water was nearly to the top of the channel.
The paddle out to the dairy in the warm morning sun was invigorating.
I caught up with and paddled past a couple in a canoe who had arrived ahead of me and were motoring halfway out to the coast. They told me that the mouth was open and the Estero was influenced by tides; I was almost certain that the mouth was closed.
Above us was a large variety of birds: hawks, vultures, ravens, crows, geese, ducks among others. This hawk, which was kiting, defies my ability to identify it. Maybe Larry will know.
Canada Geese are migrating north and stopping here to rest along their journey.
It took less than two hours to paddle the five and a half miles out to the ocean beach which was shrouded in a coastal peasouper.
Not many people find their way to this part of he Pacific Coast. The only human footprints on the beach today were the ones my feet made.
The sandbar at the mouth has indeed sealed the Estero up in all but the highest tides.
And the Estero should slowly fill up with the water running into it from its tributaries. This makes for a pretty place to paddle indeed.
On the return trip I saw
Great Blue Heron
A solitary Western Grebe, who kept well away from me.
Ravens gathered in a group of a dozen birds and put on a show of amazing aerobics. The ravens harassed any hawks and vultures who flew too nearby. It’s usually crows, not Ravens who gather in flocks, but these birds were definitely Ravens.
A breeding pair of Mergansers
And lots of cows from the dairy, including these heifers.
Gotta love them!
Paddling in the Estero Americano is a great way to enjoy some animal-enriched solitude.
A map of the journey: