~Silent Serenity on Lake Solano

~If you want to dip your paddle into a little waterway that’s not too far from Sacramento, but far enough away from the noise of the world, then you might want to check out Lake Solano.  Lake Solano looks similar to a slough that’s somewhat narrow but goes about 2 miles in each direction from the cement launch and is about 15 minutes West of Winters.  The waterway is mostly protected from the wind is a great bird habitat and is part of Putah Creek. 

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As I walked my kayak to the launch I was delighted to see a little Gray Fox sitting on the trail.  I captured a few pictures before this little fellow disappeared off into the brush.

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This morning the flat water and reflection of the bridge (Pleasants Valley Road) was sure pretty.

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Once you’re in the water, if you head East you’ll eventually come to a dam.  You’ll enjoy about 2 miles before this happens and along the way there are plenty of birds to keep your camera busy.

These Cliff Swallows were busy collecting mud for their freshly built nests (under the bridge).

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We had the water to ourselves, another reason to come early.  There were a few boys at the Cub Scout campground fishing from the shoreline, and one solo paddler as we made our way back upstream.

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This Red Winged Blackbird was busy nibbling insects on a piece of abandoned wood in the middle of the shallow lake.  He fluttered from branch to branch, which gave me a chance to capture this photo.

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I’ve seen Green Herons quite often while paddling, but this morning, they were out in full force.  These elusive birds sound like a monkey or parrot when they call out.  Its quite amazing.  They’re called Green Herons although they are mostly grey and rusty brown.

I believe this fellow is a Red Shouldered Hawk, but it’s hard to tell.  He was high up in the tree getting ready to invade a nest, based on the threatening squawks I heard coming from a bird in close proximity.

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You can paddle upstream about 2 miles and eventually the current starts to move a little as this is where Lake Berryessa spills into Putah Creek.  The water is clear and cold.

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This Wood Duck pair were quick to dart away from us, but I got this shot before they did.

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There’s a $6 day use fee to park here, the parking lot is small and the gate is opened promptly at 8am.  I try to get here as close to 8am as possible so I can get a parking spot and enjoy the quiet of the morning.  There are flush toilets and you’ll need to wash off your kayak after you exit the water.  There’s an invasive snail that will attach to your kayak.  Besides, your kayak was probably needing a bath anyway!

 

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