Nicholas Wilson wrote, "The Navarro River mouth sandbar finally breached naturally early Monday Jan. 8, 2018, letting backed-up river water flow into the Pacific, and allowing reopening of Hwy. 128. Due to continued wet weather through the week, today Friday the 12th was the first chance I had to get aerial photos of the new channel through the sandbar. Here are two views taken with a DJI Phantom 4 Advanced flying camera. It was low tide, with a strong current flowing out through the new channel. The lower five miles or so of the river is a tidal estuary, with sea water flowing in through the channel during high tide.
How wonderful to see this river from the air! We are all glad it opened, as did the Gualala River. When the Navarro backs up, it can flood Highway 128. The Gualala River doesn't have development in its floodplain, and consequently causes no problems when it floods.
Thanks to Nicholas for these great photos. If you'd like to connect with him, here is a link to his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nicholas.wilson.3975
Jeffrey Jermaine recently photographed Smuggler's Cove, a cove on The Sea Ranch.
There are some great tide pool spots close to the this cove. Donna Martinez, owner of Sea Ranch Abalone Bay, a vacation rental, has a great website where you can learn about where to tide pool on The Sea Ranch. Here's the link: http://searanchabalonebay.com/activities/sea-ranch-tide-pools/
Thanks to Jeremy for allowing me to share his photo with you here.
Ron LeValley was exploring the Arcata Marsh when this North American River Otter swam up to inspect him as he was walking around the lake.
I wonder what this River Otter was thinking!
River Otters are seen in the ocean, in rivers and creeks, and even on land. In fact, one big River Otter crossed Highway One in downtown Gualala once. Now that's a sighting.
Thanks to Ron for allowing me to share his photos with you here. To see much more of Ron's nature photography, here is his website: http://www.levalleyphoto.com/home/
Frank Coster had his tripod and camera set up on one of the pullouts off Highway One, just above Jenner. That is where two Bald Eagles have been seen in recent years. They often fish for Pacific Lampreys, a fish that is thin and long, up to three feet long. Frank saw the Bald Eagle fly towards a Sea Lion, which had a Lamprey in its mouth.
The brash eagle then dove towards the Sea Lion, his talons extended and ready to grab his meal.
Here the Bald Eagle steals the Lamprey from the Sea Lion.
And then Bald Eagle flies off with his spoils.
The disappointed Sea Lion then dives, perhaps looking for a meal he or she can keep.
What a great series of photos! I thank Frank for allowing me to share them here with you. Frank also collaborated with me for a feature about Bald Eagles in yesterday's Press Democrat. You can read my article and see some of Frank's other wonderful Bald Eagle photos at this link: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/lifestyle/7855159-181/bald-eagles-making-a-comeback
And you can view other dramatic photos taken by Frank at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ynegrwr/
John Batchelder photographed a beautiful Ferruginous Hawk during the Sea Ranch annual Christmas bird count. We only see this large hawk in the wintertime. John told me this hawk wasn't squawking at him; it was yawning.
It's funny, but I've never thought of a bird yawning! John also photographed the hawk soaring seemingly effortlessly through the sky.
This is a light-morph Ferruginous Hawk due to the white underparts you can clearly see in the second photo. Their call is more of a scream and you can listen to it here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ferruginous_Hawk/sounds
Thanks to John for allowing me to share his photos with us here.