May 6, 2018

Early Nesters

We paused at a park along the way, where a rider called out our first sighting: a hummingbird hovering overhead.

There were plenty of mallards and swallows along San Tomas Aquino Creek, but the prize was a well-camouflaged Black-crowned Night-Heron in the tall grass on the opposite bank.

Black-crowned Night-Heron standing in tall grass, San Tomas Aquino Creek, Santa Clara, California
The headwinds were surprisingly strong. (Builds character. And clears the air.)

Smiling cyclists on the Bay Trail, Sunnyvale, California
Another rider knew a thing or two about birds. Terns! American Coots (male and female).

And of course, egrets. Majestic Great Egrets gliding gracefully above the surface of the bay. Snowy Egrets hunting in the shallows.

Salt ponds along San Francisco Bay, with a view of the Diablo Range to the east, Sunnyvale, California
The willows are sprouting their leaves, and the birds are back—building and feathering their nests. Early birds claim the best branches.

Egret preening feathers in a tree, Mountain View, California
So many fancy feathers to preen!

This being the start of Bike to Work Week, it seemed only fitting to bike to (and from) the start for today's ride. Which meant 27 mostly flat miles for the group, but 53 miles and 1,100 feet of climbing for me. My longest ride of the year!

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