Monday, June 13, 2011
An Ultimate Day on the Noyo River
Today I went for a long paddle up the estuary of the Noyo River on the North Coast of California. Access was easy from the public launch and all I had to pay was three bucks for parking. If you have a boat and trailer it's ten. So having a kayak saves you a few dollars. I planned my paddle so I could catch the last of the incoming tide and make it easier on myself as I wanted to go upstream about three and a half miles or so to where the Skunk Train tracks cross the river. It worked out perfectly.
Right away I passed a California Seal Lion hauled out snoozing. I saw a lot of Osprey but none were close enough to photograph.The most amazing sight was watching a young Harbor Seal hunting for fish. It was swimming on it's back with its head downward so it could keep it's nostrils out of the shallow water as it swam. It was hunting the edges of fallen logs and brush along the sides of the river.
I saw a lot of waterfowl along the way. Mergansers, Canadian Geese and the usual Mallards along with a few Green Herons and one Night Heron. There was one Pond Turtle but it slipped away well from well over a hundred feet from me. With smaller bird life there were an amazing amount of Bandtail Pigeons moving in the trees as well as a few dove. One dove landed near me along the shoreline to have his portrait taken. I also got to see an leucistic or albino hummingbird. Though it was to far away to photograph well.
On the return trip down river I ran into Cate Hawthorne and Jeff Laxier. They were leading a group of clients upriver from where I had just come from. They own and run Liquid Fusion Kayaks and are really nice people. If you are interested in booking an ocean or river trip look them up if you are in the Fort Bragg, California area.
Down river from them a Blacktail Doe came down to the river for a drink. Near by a momma goose and her goslings were going up onto the bank looking for grass to eat.
It was a great day to be on the river photographing nature.
God's blessings to all,
Note: For my kayak photography I use a Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 kayak