One Bird, One Beast!

I got up early this morning and was filled with the “need for a speed”. Well, maybe not speed but long distance staying power. I jumped on my bike at 7:00 AM and headed out to Hwy 1 north. I pumped up the big hill at “13 Curves” and on to Five Brooks where I was so delighted to add Wood Duck. #209. There were about 10 birds there of various ages and in different stages of molt and development. With Purple Martins calling above, brand new chick Ospreys learning to fly and a distant Pileated Woodpecker belting out its loud call I was so happy. Next, while scanning the edge of the pond, I visually stumbled on a Muskrat! That was a new Mammal for me, one species that one doesn’t come across very often in these parts. After that, I continued north and up to Point Reyes Station where I met Peter Pyle for a cup of coffee and a Bear Claw at the Bovine Bakery, (the BEST bakery on THIS Earth). He gave me some tips on several birds that I needed and off I went. The east side of Tamalas Bay found me looking out across the marsh and mudflat where White Pelicans swam and Egrets stood stock still like some Japanese screen painting. I then zipped around the southern part of the bay past White House Pool and up to Inverness Park where I tried to squeak out a Northern Parula that had been singing in some big Alders right there along the road, but no luck. I still had another chance with that bird as Peter informed me that one had been singing at the foot of Limentour Road. Well, I guess that I may have waited too late in the season as they were not singing, (nor was anything else for that matter). Struck out on Parula! Guess that I will have to find one this fall! After a quick dash into Olema Marsh where I “clapped up” a few Virginia Rails it was over to Olema for a quick snack and some water. THE HILL. I had never done the big, steep hill that takes you east but I had to to find my next target bird. Crowning the hill and then going off road, I rode all over looking for Grasshopper Sparrow, which I did not find. I did however enjoy seeing a stunning Lark Sparrow and a very out of habitat, juvenile Hairy Woodpecker that was way out in a field working fence posts for food. Guess one has to learn! Now it was time for a big decision. Do I wimp out and just head home or do I go for it? Well, gravity and the quest for more birds took control of me and down, down, down the back side of Olema Hill I went. At the bottom of the hill, I hung a left and worked my way along Platform Bridge Road and toward the dam at the Nicasio Reservoir. Enjoying the flat terrain I swung wide and all of the way around the lake almost to the town of Nicasio itself, where I looked for a Common Moorhen that Peter had told me about seeing. Once again it would not come to pass. Feeling tired and hungry I felt that I should get on over to Point Reyes Station for a bite. I however went a different route along the Point Reyes Petaluma road and dropped into town from the north. Stopping briefly for some corn on the cob and a drink, I enjoyed watching all four species of “Doves” that we have in this area, come and go from my “feeding station”. Now it was the long haul back to Bolinas and home. God was I tired when I came rolling back into town at 4:00 PM after doing 52 miles and adding one well fought for species.

One thought on “One Bird, One Beast!

  1. Mr. Hansen – this is one of the Sierra Club hikers that wondered into your shop earlier this year. I’m from Oklahoma, and you and i had a conversation about George Sutton. So when I got back to Oklahoma, I ordered a book about him and just mailed it to you. But now I have received a notice from the post office that I didn’t put enough postage on the package! I’m so sorry. (Nothing like receving a gift you have to pay for!!).

    Please let me know how much the postage turns out to be, and I’ll send you a check.

    Thanks (and love your blog!!) Anne Roberts, Oklahoma

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