On Saturday, April 19th, the Mean Green Birding Machines hit the trails of Mountain View. This was a 4-hour birdathon for the SCVAS (learn more here). In a birdathon, your goal is to find as many species as possible with the time limit. But we didn’t stop there. Our extra restriction was that we couldn’t use cars. So bikes it was!
We birded along salt ponds and tidal sloughs, starting with a little salty mudflat that hosted big groups of plovers: many Semipalmated, but also Snowy Plovers, the white sprites of the flats. Soon we cut into the small, willow-filled Charleston Marsh. As the time wound down, we scanned a freshwater lake then scoured the mudflats of the tidal Charleston Slough. We managed to find 90 species in 4 hours, including wonderful goodies like the Snowy Plovers, hundreds of Bonaparte’s Gulls, 11 species of duck, and a late Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Check out the full list on ebird.
It was really interesting heading up a team of 13 people on bikes. A bit tough to wrangle everyone, but we managed to have almost every bird seen by almost every team member. The trickier part was staying stable on quick, gravely turns. A few falls, but nothing broken. And everyone agreed that birding by bike is the bee’s knees. The birds are all around as you ride, especially in the environment of the SF Bay Trail. Check out the power and majesty of our team. And if you’re really feeling inspired, sponsor us by choosing my name (Rob Furrow) from the pull-down tab on the SCVAS site.