Just a short post to congratulate Dorian Anderson for reaching and smashing through his goal of finding 600 species of birds during his BIKING FOR BIRDS YEAR. All this happened yesterday, Thanksgiving Day.

His current stats are 604 species with several that will have to be approved by birding committees.

States visited is 28. Miles biked is currently at 16,277. Miles walked is currently 448. Money raised for bird conservation and birding programs is currently at $29,064.25 and flat tires is at 34.

If you hurry you can read about his goal reaching day here. If you wait you will have to scroll down.

A Red-legged Honeycreeper!!! You've got to be kidding?


It’s a Bike Post!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a bike post. Articles about bikes and biking have piled up so let’s get rid of some of them. First off, what does Brooke Shields and Halloween have to do with a post about bikes? Take a look at her Halloween costume.

Is that Brooke Shields or a Citibike?

Let’s take a look at the evolution of the bicycle. This will be my first Vimeo video if I do everything right.

It would be great if your doctor could issue you a prescription to ride a bike in your local bike share program. They are actually doing that in Boston.

“In Boston, doctors with Boston Medical Center (BMC) can now prescribe low-income patients with a $5 membership to Hubway, the area’s bike share system…If a doctor prescribes a bike share membership, the ‘patient’ pays just $5 for a Hubway membership that normally costs $85 annually.

Subsidized members will also get a free bicycle helmet. (Hubway is a bike share system that requires helmet use.)”

It would also be great if I promised to ride it more they would give me a bike. In Sweden they are doing that.

“Even though more people are starting to commute by bike, few cities match up to ultra-bike-friendly Copenhagen, where around half of the population cycles to work. In the U.S., Portland leads the list of larger cities, but even there, only 6% of commuters bike. What does it take to get more bikes on the road?

The obvious answer is better infrastructure like decent bike lanes. But a new program in Sweden is taking a different approach, based on the theory that one reason many people don’t ride is that haven’t really tried it. In Gothenburg–a city with bike commuter rates on par with Portland–the government is giving some people the chance to try a bike for six months in exchange for the promise that they will ditch their cars at least three times a week.”

It would be even better if they paid me to bike.

France will be joining the growing list of countries with programs to encourage bicycling, but the French plan is novel. The transport ministry has teamed up with institutions and private companies who’ve agreed to pay their employees 25 euro cents a kilometer to bike to work, which, if my math is correct, amounts to roughly $37,000 per hectare. [Ed’s note: Nope, not even close, more like 29 U.S. cents per mile.]”

Want to bike to some strange places? How about the South Pole? For $7200 you can.

The Rungu Juggernaut will also probably get you there.

Neither of these will get you across a lake or bay. For that you will need this. It’s a Schiller X1.

“There’s nothing like a flat tire to bring a bike ride to a screeching halt (short of an accident), but this invention could have you back in the saddle in less than a minute after a flat.”

Suppose you have a flat on your way to the South Pole. With this device you are on your way in 60 seconds.

Check out this video to see how it works.



And the best biking city in the U.S. Is… Congratulations, New York City!

“According to Bill Strickland, the editor-in-chief of Bicycling Magazine, New York nabbed the best biking city award thanks to its recent increase in bike lanes as well as the city’s widely popular bike sharing program, Citi Bike. “Bikes are an indicator of the vibrancy of an urban area,” Mr. Strickland said. “We wanted to reward the entire vibrancy.”



“A bike design competition project to create and produce the “next-wave urban bike” garnered some amazing entries from design firms and their bike builder partners, and while all of the designs had some notable features, one bike rose above them all and was named as the Ultimate Urban Utility Bike.”

What do you think?



In 1930s France, recumbent bicycles were all the rage. After a recumbent broke the world hour record—the longest distance covered in an hour—in 1933, the design was banned from competition in the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) conference. Hobbyists continue to tout the comfort and ease of the recumbent, however. This model, the Sironval Sportplex, dates from 1939. Only 200 were sold.

The above is taken from a Sierra Club article on their website called, The Bicycle: Art on Two Wheels.

London designer Michael Embacher caught the bike bug about 10 years ago, when he traded his car for a pedal-powered commute. He fell in love with the bicycle’s clean, efficient design, and it transformed his life and health. More than 200 bicycles later, Embacher boasts an impressive collection of two-wheeled works of art.

Enthusiasm is best when shared, and Embacher does just that with his new book, Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design(Chronicle Books), a compendium of 100 strange, sleek, and classic bikes from his collection…

I encourage you to view the slide show at the site to get a sample of vintage bikes. Here’s another picture from the collection. It seems that cargo bikes are all the rage these days. Check out this site called 6 BRILLIANT CARGO BIKES FOR HAULING STUFF IN STYLE.

Built for transporting cargo, the Smith and Co. Long John was the longest two-wheeled freight bicycle on the streets in 1983. This bike from Denmark can support a load of more than 300 pounds, rider included.


Need a little something extra to get up those hills. The Copenhagen Wheel has hit the market. Seems simple enough.

Still have lot’s of bike material but I’m going to end this post with one more article.

Ditching Cars for Buses, Bikes Best Way to Cut City Pollution.

LONDON, Sept 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Encouraging people to abandon their cars and use public transport or walk or cycle around cities offers the “least pain, most gain” way to cut air pollution from traffic by 2050, a new international study said on Wednesday.

The report, by the University of California and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), proposed governments expand rail and bus transport and ensure cities are safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Researchers found that a radical change in the way people get around cities could cut carbon dioxide emissions from urban passenger transport by about 40 percent by 2050 and save $100 trillion in public and private spending.

The article can be found here. Just watch out for that bus in back of you!

A man cycles past vehicles in a gridlocked street in Jakarta December 11, 2013.















Birding and dead Stuff

Haven't blogged in awhile mainly because of a disfunctional blogging app. I have upgraded my IPad to Apple's new iOS8 but my old blogging app that I learned on hasn't updated and it's current version is unusable. Could have used my old computer to blog but I don't think I would know how. This post will be done on Blogsy and I'm totally unfamiliar with it. You will see how this post goes and who knows, maybe I've found a new blogging app.

The “official” SOS shorebird survey period ended on the 15th of this month but some of us just keep birding on. Winter shorebird data needs to be gathered. I have to state that I don't think that the shorebird activity at Virgin Creek Beach has been that good but the tern activity along with the Black Skimmer back in June has been the highlight of the surveys. Elegant Terns were the most numerous of any year on record. During my last “official” SOS survey I witnessed an example of kleptoparasitism between some Heermann's Gulls and Elegant Terns. I'll let you look it up. Also that day I found 4 Common Terns on the beach. While they are not rare at this time in Mendocino County they are hard to find on the beach.

One of them seemed to have an injury under it's left wing.

Earlier in the month, coming back from an SOS survey, there were 6 White-faced Ibis at Pudding Creek. They are becoming more common in Mendocino.

That same day there was a “rare” coastal Ring-billed Gull at Virgin Creek.

We have actually had some rain during the past two weeks. I missed a SOS survey because of it. I was able to get to the beach yesterday. The Pectoral Sandpiper was the star. We had lot's of them last year and there were 3 yesterday. The Pectoral Sandpiper is not a small shorebird. I thought this picture was interesting showing it's size compared to the kelp on the beach.

If you followed my blog last year you would know that I walked up Ten Mile Beach often. I had not been there since California State Parks finished taking out the old washed out Haul Road. Earlier this month I decided to make that first trip. Birding wasn't all that great but I did find a few interesting things. First of all this is how it looks with the Haul Road taken out. Both of these pictures feature an area, Inglenook Creek, where I birded last year.

It's not pretty out there but sand should erase these tracks in a short time. One of the things that I found during my walk was the sand covered by Velella Velella, By-the-Wind Sailors. This picture shows a combination of them freshly washed up and a few older ones.

This is one that was found during a recent pelagic trip. It's amazing that they die by the thousands, if not millions, when they wash up on the beach.

Please check out Wikipedia for more information on these creatures. Another thing I found was a dead Mola Mola. Credit goes to Alison Cebula, state parks Snowy Plover specialist, for telling me what it was. It's also called an Ocean Sunfish.

Here's a picture of a live one taken during the pelagic trip out of Fort Bragg.

You can read about the Mola Mola at Wikipedia. They are an interesting fish. They eat Jellyfish which we have plenty of here. Mola Mola, Jellyfish, Velella Velella, and Elegant Terns are all an indication of a warming ocean.

My Ten Mile Beach walk has been about dead things. I have to continue that theme with this picture of a dead River Otter found near Fenn Creek up near the old Haul Rd. I have always thought of Ten Mile Beach as a graveyard. There has always been lot's of dead carcasses there.

So let's talk about life. During the recent Mendocino Coast Audubon Society sponsored “beginner” pelagic trip, which I got to go on because of a last minute cancellation, we got a surprise when a Townsend's Warbler came on board. We were well out to see and the warbler tried to fly off but kept coming back to the boat. This is not that unusual. Birds get lost all the time. At one time it landed on my shoulder. I got this picture.

Good news! Captain Randy found a box, the warbler was captured, boxed and released when we got back to shore. It was last seen in the trees across from our mooring point. We wish it the best.

Birding at the Little River Airport has been fairly good. In the Fall local migrants, Yellow Warblers, Western Tanagers and something unexpected, always seem to show up. So far the unexpected is a Say's Phoebe. Not a good picture but you go with the picture given you.

Double-crested Cormorants are fairly rare at the airport. This picture is a little unusual for it's location. It was actually watching a plane go by.

Had some disappointment this last week. Dorian Anderson the birder who is biking across the United States in search of 600 species bypassed our section of the coast and moved down Highway 101 to the Bay Area. He actually stayed at the Ukiah Best Western for a night. I had planned to meet him on the Haul Road and bike with him. Maybe even help find him a bird he needed. Didn't happen.

Instead I helped this guy.

While I was birding Navarro Beach Road he came running down the road expecting to reconnect with Highway 1 later. I had to disappoint him and and tell him that that wasn't going to happen. With a few choice words about maps he turned around. In a write up in the local paper I learned his name is Jamie Ramsay. He's from London and he's running from Vancouver, British Columbia to Buenos Aires, Argentine. He expects the trip to take two years. He's riding for several fine charities. You can view his website here. I wish him the best.

I'm going to publish this post. The new app is better in some ways but not in others. Will have to see what the end product looks like.

It seems that the link to Jamie Ramsey's website is wrong. The correct address is If this link doesn't work you are on your own.

NOT Just Another Bike Post!!

Normally I would write up a long post filled with different articles on biking but this one will be a one bike subject post. This headline from the Grist Blog caught my eye.


U.S. bikeshares have killed a shocking amount of people.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Yanking a bicycle from the docking station outside New York’s Grand Central Terminal, a helmetless rider slung a golf bag full of clubs over his shoulder and, along with another rider wearing headphones but no helmet, merged into rush hour traffic.

Against all odds – including novice riders, refusal to wear bike helmets and the daily crush of weaving, horn-blaring traffic – not a single rider in New York City’s bike share program has been killed since it launched in May 2013, a Citi Bike representative said.

 In fact, experts say no fatalities have been logged in any U.S. public bike share program since the first one launched in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007. There are now programs in 36 cities, including Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco, with new services planned in Tampa, Florida, Boise, Idaho, Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere.

When New York’s program, sponsored by Citibank, was launched in May 2013, critics and late-night television hosts shared dire predictions for riders, some of whom were only then learning to ride.

 At the time, then-city Comptroller John Liu called for mandatory bike helmets for adults to lessen “the human toll” but failed in his effort. “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart joked that the bike share program sparked a new business idea called “Jon Stewart’s Street Brain Removal Service.”

Accident rates from bikeshares are low, too. In New York, out of 10.3 million Citi Bike rides, only 40 people have required medical attention after accidents.

The full Reuters write-up can be found here.

23 million bike share rides and not one fatality. That amazing!!

I had to make a decision on the choice of pictures to use for this post. Do I use a generic Citi Bike picture, a Leonardo DiCaprio picture, or a Karolina Kurkova picture. Easy choice.

Karolina Kurkova rides a CitiBike on the streets of Manhattan on July 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Care to Join the Debate–Buck Naked or Fully Clothed

This is just another bike post–but it’s not like my normal bike posts. Be advised that there will be some nudity in this article so those that get offended easily should go no further.

Last year I wrote an article on “Bare-Naked Birding“. You can find that post here. You can see from reading that post that bare-naked birding is a totally different concept then what I’m about to write about.

In January of this year I wrote about the, “No Pants Subway Ride“. You can find that post here.

I had thought that that would be as far as I would go on this issue in this blog. I was wrong!

First let’s start with the fully clothed part of this story. I was aware of mass bike rides in various cities around the world but an event in Montréal, Canada, impressed me.

“2 weeks ago, Montréal held its Tour de l’Île, a cycling event that has been held annually since 1984, making this year’s edition the 30th. Roads around the island of Montréal are closed to car traffic and around 25,000 cyclists join in the fun, riding on either the 25km, 50km, or for the more ambitious ones, the 100km versions of the tour.” 

It was actually held on June 1st, so it was more than 2 weeks ago. I first read about it in this Treehugger article.

Screen capture SF

I had wanted to include some video of this event in this post but could only find Vimeo videos (will have to sign-up one of these days). You will have to go to the link above to watch them. There’s also the night tour, Tour la Nuit where you can glow in the dark and dress up in crazy costumes.

Didier Bertrand


Fade Studio

It should be noted that in almost all of the pictures and videos that I looked at, the bike riders had their helmets on. A very safe event.

From this point in the blog, caution should be taken because the following pictures and videos show bike riders without helmets-or very little else.






“Thousands of bikers took to the streets this weekend (week of June 14th) to ride their bikes in the buff, as part of the annual World Naked Bike Ride event. The clothing-optional bike rides has taken place in at least 70 cities and 20 countries around the world.

The event dates back to 2004, and carries the motto “Bare as you dare.” The purpose? Organizers say it is to demonstrate “the vulnerability of cyclists on the road” and to “protest against oil dependency.””

I first read about this event in this Blog. I must be living under a rock because this is the first time I’ve heard of this worldwide event. Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) attracted over 9,000 riders. It started in 2004 with 125 riders and has grown every year. You can read about Portland’s WNBR at this blog.

Portland’s riders say the main reason for riding naked through the streets of Portland is to:

Save the planet! Shifting to a carfree lifestyle is one of the most powerful things a person can do to make a real difference in reducing negative environmental impacts on this planet”.

Another reason is:

It’s time to put a stop to the indecent exposure of people and the planet to cars and the pollution they create. We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the vulnerability faced by cyclists and pedestrians on our streets as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable energy.”

I’ve researched the WNBR a little and came upon a documentary film (award winning, Philadelphia Festival of Film and Technology, USA; Wildscreen Festival UK) by High Altitude Films. It documents the organizing of the London WNBR. I’m going to embed the film in this blog and hope that you will take a look. It’s an excellent environmental film about the hazards of climate change, our car and oil dependencies and the problems with urban planning. It doesn’t get real naked until about 3/4th of the way.  

What are your thoughts on this debate? 

Some of mine are–people seem to have more fun in big cities, to keep people from borrowing your bike, ride in a World Naked Bike Ride event, and do whatever it takes to get the message out that biking is better for the planet. Would I ever ride naked? Not likely! But if I was in the middle of 9,000 naked riders, who knows.

The “Care to Join the Debate” theme is a new one for this blog. This is the second one and I have several others planned. 

This post is dedicated to a friend of mine who just retired from the Chico Post Office. I’m not sure what he will think about the subject but he is a bike rider. Congratulation Mike, for surviving your years at the old P.O. and living to tell about it.





All Things Bikes

Since my “green” year depended on using my bike to help me bird I have devoted many a post to what’s happening in the biking world. I have stored a great deal of bike articles in my read later app, “Pocket”. This post will clear out many of those articles.  

First I would like to share this video which I just found. It looks like it might have been dangerous to film. I enjoyed the looks on some of the peoples faces. Dark humor but it made me laugh out loud. It about getting a ticket for not riding in the bike lane and the hazards of always riding in the bike lane. Enjoy!

Suppose we lived in a country where bikes ruled. We might find this–a floating bike roundable in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Screen capture ipv Delft

You can see how it works in this video.

Of course in the Netherlands they have all sorts of bike friendly routes like this circular bridge.

Or the more traditional bridges.










The Netherlands also have traffic lights that automatically give priority to cyclists! 

Of course here in Mendocino we have our Pudding Creek Trestle Bridge and a small Virgin Creek Bridge. Both are reminders of our logging industry history.


  • Virgin_Creek_Bridge.JPG


Bike designs are changing. Take a look at this Sandwich Bike.

Here’s another wood bike made by Bough Bikes

And another wood bike by Dan Gestoso Rivers. It the Boske Bike which can be put together with one Allen’s wrench.

Then there is the more traditional looking Peace Bikes which “has a “buy a bike, give a bike” policy – so for every purchase they’ll donate a cycle to someone in need. Proceeds will also go towards funding bicycle advocacy programs for children in need.” They have a “Kickstarter” program here.

How about this bike? “The INgSoc bicycle is a battery-assisted bicycle designed by Edward Kim and Benny Cemoli. The INgSoc bicycle has three modes: battery-powered, battery-assisted and rider-powered, which charges the bike’s battery while you ride.” Where does the rack go?

Do you think a $10.00 Cardboard Bike will catch on? “Izhar Gafni has designed award winning industrial machines for peeling pomegranates and sewing shoes. He’s also a bike enthusiast who’s designed a lot of carbon fiber rigs. But one day, he’d heard about someone who’d built a cardboard canoe. The idea drilled its way into his consciousness, and ultimately, led him to create a cardboard bike called the Alfa…The Alfa weighs 20lbs, yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials, yet uses a belt-driven pedal system that makes it maintenance free. And, maybe best of all, it’s project designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit (and just $5 for a kids version), making it not only one of the most sustainable bikes you could imagine, but amongst the cheapest, depending on the markup.”

You can wear a bike helmet made out of paper with the Alfa. “So when you have a crash, what these airbags do is they go pop, pop, pop, pop, pop – and they go all the way to the bottom, without the helmet cracking. That’s what absorbs the energy.”

The rise of curbs: Protected bike lanes in the U.S. are growing up! Curbs to separate bikes from traffic is catching on. “In Chicago, Clybourn Avenue and State Street are likely to get the city’s first curb-separated bike lanes. In Seattle, the city has used two wholesale road reconstructions, on Linden Avenue and Broadway, as chances to install cement curb separations. In Austin, two blocks of 3rd Street downtown are now fitted with modular precast curbs to create a protected bike lane. And Long Beach, Calif., has been using curbs for protected bike lanes since 2011.”

Armadillo: Cool Recycled Plastic Bike Lane Dividers Keep Cyclists Safe on Roads. This might be the next best idea if curbs can’t be used.

The next breakthrough for a bike-friendly world: Protected intersections! Watch the video here.

The new Hassalo on Eighth, a residential complex in Portland, Oregon will have no less than 1,200 bike parking spots for its tenants – the largest number in North America! 

Speaking of Portland. Portland made it through 2013 with zero bike fatalities. Portland proves that some cities can do it but London proves they can’t. “London’s cycling ‘superhighways’ prove to be super dangerous.” Six deaths in one month.

That is just one of the reasons that is causing, “London’s Bike-Share Crisis”. “In order of gravity, the answers seem to be cost, danger, and patchy maintenance.”

Is riding naked going to solve London’s safety problem? Check out the video here

Bad news for Bixi: Montreal bike share is bankrupt. Another bike share program in trouble.

Bad news for Citi Bike in New York–“Citi Bike is underwater and de Blasio refuses bailout“–“One of the most unique features of New York City’s bike share program is that it’s privately funded. In most cities, bike-share programs, like other forms of public transportation, are subsidized with taxpayer money…Given the popularity of Citi Bike among the residents of New York city (assuming that’s who pays for those 99,000 annual memberships), it seems unlikely that the city will allow the program to fold completely.”

 But!!!  Start-up bike-sharing programs make inroads in US cities. “As the bike-sharing business gains traction in cities across America, two small companies, Alta Bicycle Share of Portland, Oregon, and B-Cycle of Madison, Wisconsin, are making a big difference in the lives of tens of thousands of cyclists.

Alta Bicycle Share operates bike-sharing systems in partnership with local governments in eight cities: New York, Washington DC, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, Boston, Columbus and Chattanooga, as well as Melbourne, Australia.

B Cycle, a joint venture of the Trek Bicycle Corp, healthcare provider Humana and marketing agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, manages systems in about 30 cities, including Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Madison and Boulder, as well as Santiago, Chile.

Together, they have made bike-sharing one of America’s fastest growing “green” businesses. “Bike sharing has experienced the fastest growth of any mode of transport in the history of the planet,” according to findings from the Earth Policy Institute.”

Times Square ball drop to be powered by Citi Bike. That was the headline this last New Year’s Eve.

Los Angeles Launches First Bicycle Friendly Business District. Read about it here

Here in California the trend is clear and I’m sure it all because of this blog and my “green” year:>) “Twice As Many Californians Walking, Biking, Or Using Public Transportation As In 2000, Survey Shows”

I sure could use a Cyclocable to get up Little River Airport Road. Read and watch the video here.

This bike glows in the dark when headlights hit it. My question is why don’t they have helmets that glow?

And finally!!! Norman Foster unveils plans for elevated ‘SkyCycle’ bike routes in London. This Guardian article is an interesting read and when you get to the end of it there’s this, “Finance has confounded other attempts for aerial bikes routes in the past. The California Cycleway, dreamt up in the 1890s, was planned to connect Pasadena and Los Angeles with 14km of raised timber decking, but only 2km of the track was ever built. Conceived as a private money-making enterprise, with a toll of 10 cents and 100,000 projected annual users, it never turned a profit, destroyed instead by the rise of the Model T Ford. More than a century later, will the SkyCycle team have better luck?”

Pipe dream … the California Cycleway, dreamt up in the 1890s, was never completed after the automobile industry took off. Photograph: Cycle Infrastructure/nai010

I could go on forever with this post. Still have lot’s of material that I could use. If you have gotten this far I will end it off topic. At the beginning of this post I mentioned a “roundabout” for bikes. Here in Mendocino County, because of many accidents with some deaths involved, they created a roundabout on Highway 1, south of Fort Bragg. There was of course controversy involved because this was something new and many people thought a traffic light would be a better option. I found a video that should end this controversy. MythBusters: Roundabout vs. 4-way stop intersection, which is more efficient? You can read about it and watch the video here

Wrap Up 4–What Next?

My experimental “green” birding year took up most of my free time. 2014 will be a year to catch up on my reading material and projects around the house.













Writing about climate change can unsettle and depress a person. To help me clear my mind I want to get back to my mindful meditation practice. Birding is a way of meditation for me but just being out there ticking off birds on a list doesn’t work for me.

I’m going to work on my photography. I normally leave my camera on one setting and hope for the best. I hope to improve on that. I’m also going to work on processing after taking the picture. Note the picture on the right. It’s the first time I’ve ever used a frame. 

Two of the projects I would like to work on this year are building Hooded Merganser/Wood Duck nest boxes for the ponds at the Little River Airport. I have talked about this with the manager of the Little River Golf Course and he wants to help. Of course we will have to have some rain to fill the ponds. Compare this current picture with one of the very first I used in this blog.

Pond at West End of the Airport

The other project is trying to make California State Parks more bike friendly. Part of that will be more bike racks at various places. Pictured below are the racks I’ve had to use this last year. Since both are located in main parts of MacKerricher State Park I think they need some upgrading.














I’m also thinking of working on a photography project titled, “Happy Birds–The Birds of the Woods Taking Baths”. I may have to work on the title. It would look something like this.




As far as my birding efforts go I will be cutting back a day of birding in general. I plan to continue my Save Our Shorebirds (SOS) Survey at Virgin Creek Beach with less frequent trips to Ukiah using the MTA and my bike. I will continue my weekly birding visits to the Little River Airport. 

I’m looking at another way to keep my birding carbon footprint low for 2015. Talk about long range planning! With a new app called, “Count Circle” I can draw a circle similar to a Christmas Bird Count circle around my home. It contains some of my most popular birding areas and lot’s of areas to be explored. It will give me a reason to get to know my neighborhood and keep me close to home. Much of the area can still be done by bus and bike. To show what a great area I live in, the circle contains the Point Cabrillo Light Station, Russian Gulch State Park, Mendocino Headlands State Park, most of, if not all, of the Woodlands State Park, Van Dame State Park and Navarro Beach State Park. It contains Big River and the Caspar Upland Trail and also a large portion of Jackson Demonstration State Forest. It contains lot’s of the Pacific Ocean. I might have to charter my own boat.

 I plan to continue this blog with posts on birding, biking, public transportation and climate change. They just will not be as frequent. My wife gave me a great Christmas present. It consists of putting my logo, “Greenbirdingmendo” on a hat, jacket, tee shirts, a banner and business cards. So the adventure will continue.

P.s. 1/19/14

I have entered my “local” patch, the Little River Airport, in the “PATCHWORKING CHALLENGE”. More information about this challenge can be found on the “Green Birding” website.


Wrap Up 1–The Birds

When I started last year on my experimental “green” year I thought that 240 birds were possible. After the year got off to a good start I raised the expectations to between 240 and 260 birds. My final total was 250. Was 260 possible. I’ve checked previous September Pelagic trips and I could have added a good 9+ species to my list. Some Jaegers, Fulmars, Murrelets, Shearwaters, Petrels, and Terns come to mind. As you know from reading this blog, the September Pelagic trip for 2013 was canceled due to bad weather. A good fall vagrant migration would have added 1 or 2 birds. So yes 260 was possible. My previous best year for Mendocino County using my normal methods of birding by truck was 263 birds. I normally average somewhere around 240. So I wasn’t bird deprived in 2013 using the MTA, my bike, and my feet. This screen shot shows that I was competitive with other Mendocino County birders.



I added 8 new Mendocino County birds to my list. Two of them were lifers. The best bird was the first documented sighting of a Curlew Sandpiper in Mendocino County, a lifer for me.

The second best would have to be the Brown Booby seen during a rough spring pelagic trip. Also a lifer for me and possibly the best pelagic trip picture I’ve ever taken.

Some other first Mendocino birds were a Black-throated Sparrow one of maybe only five seen in the county.

A very disheveled White-winged Dove.

I found three Tropical Kingbirds during the year.

Birds I didn’t get pictures of were the Northern Parula. Would have tried but the bird was flitting around the windows of a private residence and I felt it was unethical as a photographer to take pictures. Felt uncomfortable even viewing the bird. Both the Great-tailed Grackle and the Rough-legged Hawk were to far off to get a picture.

Some other pictures of birds seen are below. Note that not all of the pictures were taken during 2013.

Laysan Albatross.

Parasitic Jaeger.

American Avocet.

Semipalmated Sandpiper.

2013 seemed to be the year of the Pectoral Sandpiper.

Glaucous Gull.

Common Gallinule.

My shorebird scattering Peregrine Falcon.

A recently arrived Rock (Sand) Sandpiper.

I apologize to all the other birds seen and photographed during the year. This has to end somewhere.

Last is a picture of the male Snowy Plover that nested in 2013 on Ten Mile Beach. He has been seen in the wintering flock this season. Will it happen again? Only time will tell.


A Small Personal Success Story

I have mentioned several times that the Mendocino Transit Authority’s (MTA) policy of not being able to take bikes on their bike racks in certain areas of Ukiah because of tight turns wasn’t publicized in either their bus schedules or on their website. I   attended a board meeting on November 21st and mentioned this fact. This morning I went to their website and took this screenshot .


I like it when someone listens to me. A small success story.


Fixed a Flat/Attended a MTA Board Meeting/Pat Me on the Back

I decided last Thursday that I would chase a bird. A trip to Lake Cleone to try for the Black-capped Chickadee was in order. Although it had been 6 days since it had been seen, I thought, “what the hell–go for it”. I learned on the bus trip into town that there was a MTA Board meeting that afternoon and the big boss was going to attend. I decided that if I had time I would go. Arriving at the entrance to MacKerricher State Park I locked my bike to a flagpole (no bike racks) across from the Gray Whale Skeleton. I should have taken a picture.  

                                       I found these pictures on web. Don’t know who took them but they work. 

After birding the road to Highway One I was on my way to the trail down to the boardwalk when another biker asked if my bike locked to the flagpole was mine. When I said that it was mine he said that he had heard air coming out of one of my tires and sure enough the back tire was flat(again). I told him that I had just gotten all the tools to fix it and could put all my new tire fixing knowledge to good use. He said something like, “that was a good way of looking at it.” I continued my birding but the flat tire dampened my enthusiasm and I didn’t know how long I could bird, fix the tire, and get to the board meeting. Finding the chickadee was a shot in the dark anyway. I went back to my bike and found a nice sunny place and started to work on the tire. Rotate chain to smallest gear, release the cable noodle for the brakes, open quick release skewer on wheel, pull off wheel, use tire lever to remove tire, take out tube (note that puncture hole in old tube was in the same place as last flat on the inside near valve), check inside of tire for anything loose that could cause a flat, partly blow up new tube, put tire half way on, insert tube, use tire lever to put tire all the way on, inflate, put back on bike, tighten quick release skewer, reconnect brakes and check to see if wheel rolled properly. I DID IT! Biked to the MTA office in Fort Bragg and found that I was a half hour early for the meeting. The bus drivers had told me the wrong time.

While biking to the meeting along the Haul Rd. I noticed many butterflies about. Thinking it was late for them I took some pictures.

I’ll have more to said about them in the next post. 

While waiting for the meeting Rick, one of the bus drivers, showed up. He’s an avid bike rider so I was telling him about my experience with the flat. He looked at the wheel and said that I had put it on backwards. The tire tread was going the wrong way. I guess I only get a B+ for fixing the tire. He said that nothing serious would happen with it that way.

The actual board meeting happens in two place at once. One group is over in Ukiah and my group was in Fort Bragg. They use a Skype-like hookup so we could all see and hear each other. I knew one of the board members already. Her name is Meg Courtney. She represents Fort Bragg being a member of the Fort Bragg City Council. I know her from meeting her at the Little River Zen Center. She travels with her dog Annie who sat next to her in one of the chairs. I guess anyone from the public is rare. They only show up when fares increase. I got to speak first. I told them briefly what I was using the MTA for (a green bird year). I told them that I appreciated the bus drivers for being helpful during the year, I asked about using 3 bike, bike racks on the Fort Bragg buses and was told that they were currently illegal but that legislation was in the works to make them legal. I said that there was nothing in their printed schedules or on their website to explain where Ukiah buses can and cannot haul bikes and was told that it used to be in both places but schedules had been reprinted and the website had been revamped but to look for a change soon. I told them that I wanted to take day trips down to the Point Arena area and was told that that was an “Unmet Transit Need” that had been noted already and that they would make sure my comments were in the record. Dan Baxter, MTA General Manager, then asked that I tell the board about my blog. Jeff, the North Coast Supervisor, has been forwarding my posts on the “Psychology of Bus Riding” over to him in Ukiah. I think they got a kick out of my posts especially the one on how not to sit next to the weirdo. There was even mention of how they were working on a new Facebook Page and Twitter Account and maybe they could link to my blog.

Jeff thanked me for attending and arranged for me to catch the “Coaster” back so I wouldn’t have to transfer at the Boatyard. I think the meeting went well from my point of view.

With the nagging thought that my puncture in my tire tube was in the same spot I stopped at, “Catch a Canoe & Bicycles Too”, and told Jason that I had bad news and good news. The bad being a flat tire with the tube punctured in the same area and a tire on backwards and the good being that I got the bike back on the road. He took the tire apart. The rim tape which protected the tube from the spokes was like a big rubber band that could move. He replaced it with real tape and put the tire on correctly. I left with only a $4 charge for a tube patch kit.