Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 13th, 2011 at 9:10 am
Read the ride recap and see more photos below the jump…
Reporter Name – Jene-Paul
Ride or Event Date Saturday, June 11, 2011
How many people showed up? – 25 or so
After a quick talk behind the Paul Bunyan statue at Denver & Interstate, we rode past PIR & the Delta Park/Vanport MAX stop and turned in toward the golf course and Force Lake. Bikes were abandoned as everyone eagerly lined the lakeshore searching for herons. Somebody offered a beer for spotting the first one.
The two ride leaders, Carl & Olivia – from the Portland Parks & Recreation City Nature organization – pointed out the magnificent birds’ features and also discussed other birds hanging around the area. We mounted up again and rode further into the golf course, looping around on the twisty cart paths (normally closed to bikes) to a thickly wooded perimeter area farther west.
Approaching twilight, we were directed to peer into the very tall trees where we spied a few occupied nests (herons nest 20-30 meters off the ground!). How they maneuvered through the tight spaces is a mystery as we didn’t catch any flying in there. There were deer trails leading into the thick brush. At one point nearing dusk, we passed a squad of eight rabbits lined up in formation as they had dinner.
Continuing on, we passed another heron parked across a pond (finally, one posing!), and proceeded to wind around back southward to the MUP which runs above the Columbia Slough. There was a pause while people got oriented and then returned to Denver Avenue and back to the initial assembly point. Folks chatted about the ride and birds and then 8 or 10 rode over to an eatery in the next block while the rest rode wherever (the beer-winner actually rode away north again before collecting).
The birds weren’t too cooperative but it was a nice ride, perfect weather and a kinda harmonious group. I’ve seen more herons on any number of rides, but I never knew about the rookery or the other heron stuff I learned from the ride leaders.