Friday, June 1, 2012

Just Another Day at the Office

At 9am, I met 2 guests for our morning kayak tour on the NoyoRiver.  After suiting up in our splash wear, we took a quick look at the river from the deck.  My guests asked how the birding was on the river.  I smiled as a green heron flew down the river and landed just  across from us on a log.  Not to be out done, the male osprey  flew over head with nesting material.

We launched onto the river listening to the song sparrows and Wilson’s warblers singing.  The orange crowned warblers soon joined in as well as a Swainson’s thrush creating a symphony of bird song.  Meandering further down the river, we noticed a log that appeared to be moving.  I knew what it was and guided my guests slowly away from it to the other side of the river.  It was as I had expected - a mamma harbor seal and her pup.  We gave them a comfortable distance and were amazed to see the sea pup start nursing. 

Our magical trip continued with a snowy egret flying over us and a small flock of common mergansers hunting/fishing around us.  As we neared the mouth of the river, my guests were delighted with surf scoters and intrigued with a new raven nest under the bridge.   As we paddle back through the harbor, a large male sea lion porpoised along past us into the boat basin.  We paused to check out a kingfisher’s nest and then were treated to a sighting of the female American Kestrel emerging from the nest box, stretching her wings, and exerting her dominance over a brown headed cow bird.

As the tide pushed us back up the river, a sharp eye spotted a sharp-shinned hawk hidden in a fir tree.  Actually a bit of discussion ensued as to whether it was a red shouldered, sharp shinned or cooper’s hawk.  The hawk ended our debate by flying from his perch over us and showing us his angular tail feathers that defined him as a sharp-shinned hawk.

We quietly floated into the magic corner, our launching point and landing point for the trip where we discovered the male and female osprey together in the same alder tree about 25 feet above the river.  As we admired them, the head of a harbor seal emerged from the water and 2 black crown night herons flew down to the river to do some fishing.

The oddest sighting of the day though were some dry suit clad kayakers standing on shore gaping at the wild life surrounding us.

“Just another day at the office.”


  1. Of all days not to have a camera handy.

  2. Dear Cate,

    That sounds like such a peaceful day. I'm impressed that you had the chance to see such diversity of wildlife in one trip.

    The KEEN Recess Team is inspired by people like you who lead an active lifestye. Recess is a rallying cry for adults and kids alike to take a break from the daily grind, get outside and create their own playground. We'd love to have your expertise and input on our Recess page.

    You can add your favorite kayaking destinations and photos to the map. We look forward to hearing about your next day at the office!

    KEEN Recess Team