Bird-Watching Adventure

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Saturday two friends from my local riding group and I carpooled up to Sunnyvale. Our parent club, Almaden Cycle Touring Club, had a bird-watching ride that looped from Sunnyvale over to the shoreline trail along San Francisco Bay, then past a special street in Mountain View next to the Google campus where egrets and herons nest. There were surprisingly few birds in the bay compared to other times I’ve been on the shoreline trail, but we had good luck seeing the nests and mama and half-grown baby egrets. It was all in all a very nice adventure.

Bird-Watching Adventure 1
Twenty five miles in about two and a half hours
Bird-Watching Adventure 2
Surprisingly hard work for a flat ride (Average heart 124, max 159), on my non-assisted upright. There was a headwind for a good bit of the ride.
Bird-Watching Adventure 3
Pelicans on this slough next to San Francisco Bay
Bird-Watching Adventure 4
Blue Heron. Sorry it’s blurry
Bird-Watching Adventure 5
Now the path is next to south San Francisco Bay
Bird-Watching Adventure 6
The Space-age looking building to the left is the most striking building of the Googleplex, with the rest of the campus to the right. Some nerd humor: Google’s name is a play on words on the word “googol”. A “googol” is 10 to the hundredth power. A”Googolplex” stands for ten to the power of a googol, an unimaginably large number. I don’t know what the dry area is in the foreground, possibly it’s a reclaimed former salt pond.
Bird-Watching Adventure 7
Looking south from the same spot towards Nasa Ames and Moffett field. The large rounded building to the right is airship hanger 1 while the two large structures to the left are airship hangers 2 and 3. These hangers at Moffett Field date back to the 1930s. Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft used to take off from Moffett routinely on long sub-detection missions. The noise of their turbopr takeoff was quite pronounced where we lived in Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
Bird-Watching Adventure 8
The Googleplex up close. We came to see the Swallow’s nests under the balcony
Bird-Watching Adventure 9
A baby peeking out of one of the nests
Bird-Watching Adventure 10
This is on a road adjacent to the Google campus. The city of Mountain View blocked it off to motor vehicles when it was discovered that Egrets and Herons are nesting in the trees along this street.
Bird-Watching Adventure 11
These are the Eucalyptus trees containing the nests. We saw a mama Egret feeding her babies but I didn’t catch it on camera. Our ride leader also saw a heron in its nest but I couldn’t spot it.
Bird-Watching Adventure 12
My wife and I lived in these apartments in Mountain View- 45 years ago. The apartments look about the same, although they now have a fancier sign.

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