Some Local Birding and my First Flat Tire

Got up on Thursday and didn’t feel like doing a big day of birding so I decided to do some local birding and bike riding. I have plenty of places in my area where I can do that. As stated before one of those places is a favorite of mine, Big River. I 


decided to ride up Big River in the morning and then Little River in the early afternoon. Little River is part of Van Damme State Park. It’s amazing that I can do “two” rivers in one day.

As alway Big River was a beautiful bike ride without too many people about. I rode as far as Dry Dock Gulch where there’s a little marsh. The marsh is the eastern most part of my section of the Fort Bragg Christmas Bird Count. Along the way I got this picture of “New Boom” part of the old logging infrastructure that still remains. It was used to corral logs coming down the River.

Birding was OK with the usual Big River birds seen. Currently there are not many ducks and water birds using the river. I hope that changes. The big news is that on the way back I discovered that my back tire was going flat. This is a first for my “green” year. Spokes have been broken but no flat tires. I haven’t been carrying any flat fixing supplies with me. Lucky for me I was close to the parking lot when it happened so I just walked it back to my truck. Also lucky for me “Catch a Canoe & Bicycles, Too!” was just across the River.

I explained to Jason that many years ago I had learned to fix flat tires on bikes in a class and was interested in relearning. He wasn’t busy so he walked me through the process. After removing the tire, old tube, and inflating the new one he handed me the tire and said, “put it back on”. After some effort I was able to do it. The picture below is my new flat fixing equipment. I hope I don’t have to use it.

After thanking Jason I went to Van Damme SP and continued my birding and bike riding. Below are some pictures from that ride. I decided to use some photo effects so let me know what you think.

This is bridge number 7. I love these bridges.

Back in the “primitive” campground.

Mushrooms on log in river.

No new birds and no truck miles saved. Just a great day (except for the flat) on the coast.

Birding Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park borders the Woods, where I live, on the North. There are two entrances to the park. The main entrance is off of Highway 1 just north of the Little River Inn. The other entrance is approximately 3 miles up Little River Airport Road at the Pgymy Forest Discovery Trail where you can find all the answers to why Pygmy Forests exist.

I decided to use this entrance. My target bird was a Vaux Swift. I had seen them before, high above the trees, from the canyon floor. Since the hiking trail (no bikes allowed) was a more interesting trail I decided to walk. Little River and it’s tributaries flow down the center of the park. There are a good number of bridges crossing it.

Once you get down into the canyon, ferns and trees dominate.

Lot’s of these tree come down.

While flows of water are down there are still some small rapids and falls along the river.

At the end of my hike I found that I had walked over 6 miles. Did not find a Vaux Swift but there were plenty of Pacific-slope flycatchers, Wilson and Hermit Warblers, Pacific Wrens and Swainson’s Thrushes. It was a very pretty hike that’s right in my backyard.