Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sept 13 (Day 256) - Crescent City to Arcata

This morning I returned to the Crescent City (CA) harbor. There were loads of shorebirds present in the fog yesterday afternoon, and I figured they warranted additional scrutiny in case anything stellar arrived anew last last night. There appeared to be very little turnover overnight as I found essentially the same birds and numbers as yesterday. The highlight of the morning was certainly a juvenile Parasitic jaeger flying low over the water and resting on the exposed beach! The views this bird afforded me were absolutely incredible. They were so good that I, without thought, waded right into the water in my bike shoes to get the following shots. Shoes be damned - this opportunity was just too good! My shoes would dry on the ride anyway. It took some time for this bird to trust me, but after an hour or so he let me get right to the MFD (minimum focus distance) of my 400mm f/5.6 lens (138", or about 11.5 feet). I felt like the "Bird Whisperer" as I stalked this guy. Any day can use MFD and jaeger in the same sentence is a good day.

After this incredible encounter I hit the road for what proved to be a fairly challenging ride. There were several moderate climbs, but at least they were spaced out over the day. The highlight of the day   (besides the jaeger!) was certainly my 11 miles in the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The ride itself was incredible, but two other things combined to make it even better First, the road was closed to car traffic today. I could ride in the middle of the street! Second, the grade of the road in the direction I rode is was perfect. It was downhill, but just enough to keep the bike moving at a slow to moderate pace. I just kicked back and cruised through what were the biggest trees I have ever seen! I felt like an ant.....

Klamath River crossing

Bike with BIG trees!

A ride through the redwoods today

As I mentioned yesterday, there is a fair amount of bike traffic along this southbound stretch of Highway 101. Today I met Donnie. He is biking from Alaska to San Diego as part as a film project on which he is working. We kept each other company for half an hour before we split up and headed our own directions. Here is a link to his blog and project. Check it out if you have a few minutes.

Donnie and his rig!

I arrived in Arcata felling rather beat-up this afternoon. I have not had a day off this month, so a day of casual birding and a second night in Arcata will certainly be welcomed tomorrow. Plus, Queen Sonia will arrive sometime in the afternoon! We may stay here on Monday as well, but that will be determined by how the birding goes tomorrow.
The run south to Arcata

1 comment:

  1. Love those Jaeger shots. What a spectacular bird. Really glad that your day off was here in Arcata and coincided with our paths crossing. We loved meeting you and your very beautiful Sonia.