Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sherman Island Waterfowl Management Area

On Thursday, January 24th, I had the opportunity to paddle around and explore the Sherman Island Waterfowl Management Area, also known as Sherman Lake. I had a couple from the peninsula who wanted to explore this area so after I set them up with their boat and a map of the area I thought I would do some exploring myself.

The previous few days had been extremely cold but this day warmed up to the low 50's with low clouds covering the area for most of the day. I set off from Sandy Beach and headed west towards the marsh. There were plenty of duck hunters in the area as I could hear several shotgun blasts every once in awhile. Once I reached the marsh area I paddled at a leisurely pace and took in the sights. There were hundreds of coots, as usual, and I spotted the infamous Sandhill Crane among the reeds. There were Great White Heron, Blue Heron, and Snowy Egrets. Despite the sound of gunfire, it was actually very peaceful. High tide was at 11:30 that morning with an easy current and the water was very smooth with just a gentle breeze.

After exploring the inside marsh for some time, I decided I would explore the outer edge along the Sacramento river to see if there were any possible landing spots to stretch my legs. I didn't find any beaches but I did discover a floating dock tucked in along the shore that looked like someone had set up to fish from. As I meandered down the river I was fortunate to spot half a dozen Sandhill Cranes resting in a tree along the shore so I stopped paddling and just watched them. While observing these beautiful creatures and taking in my surroundings, I thanked God for such a beautiful world and the opportunity to participate in this sport and see His creation from a different perspective. As I returned to the launch I was delighted to see a flock of White Pelicans flying above me with their black wingtips dotting the ashen sky.

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