June 22, 2011

Birds and bikes on the road to Bluff Lake

Snapped a Western Bluebird by his nest in what's left of a dead tree on June 19, off Forest Road 2N10 on the way to Bluff Lake. Click to embiggen, and take pity on my antique point-and-shoot. The little Black Oak our bluebird perched on isn't dead - it just hasn't leafed out yet. Spring was cold this year. Over Memorial Day Weekend, temps at the cabin were in the mid-20s F, brrr. Today's temps were in the 80s, and all the oaks around the cabin are filling out beautifully.

Stopped at the spring off 2N10 and found a pair of Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Sapsuckers and a Brown Creeper, among other sightings. The Steller's Jay nest is still sitting on top of the spring.

Birders heading to Bluff Lake always share FR 2N10 with a few mountain bikers, but Sunday was extreme. Race day!
This past Sunday cyclists came from across California, Oregon, South Africa, Mexico and beyond to compete in the Kenda Cup Team Big Bear Mountain Bike Race Finals in Big Bear. This event was also part two in the Conquer the Cub and Conquer the Bear series, part of Open Air Big Bear. The event had a special element to it this year, incorporating a 50-mile marathon race, along with the standard 18 mile and 24 mile course loops. 
I was birding with Linda G. from Lake Arrowhead and some nice folks from one of Sylvia Gallagher's great classes down in Orange County. On the way up to Bluff we pulled over while a hundred or so mountain bikers flew past us going downhill — very cool. Some irate chucklehead in a vehicle behind us marched up to my truck window to steam about his rights to drive anywhere unimpeded at any time, yadda yadda, and Laurel [OC birder] and I were like, dude, get over yourself. [This bike race is held once a year, and it's not like the whole thing wasn't publicized. Sheesh.] Check out this race photo from Big Bear News:

So we were held up a bit, but no biggie, and Laurel and I made great time on the way back. Too great, actually... The other birders drove more slowly and kept their eyes open and were rewarded with the only White-headed Woodpecker sighting of the day.

I really want to take some of Sylvia Gallagher's classes now.

Conquer the Bear, from Big Bear News
“Conquer the Bear” Mountain Bike Race, from the Big Bear Blog
Bird Classes for Adults, Sea & Sage Audubon Society

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Some HTML tags [italics, linkage] work fine.