Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Birds

St. Mary's Ecological Reserve

The biking from St. Bride's to Cape St. Mary's was mostly flat, a long stretch of road through a tundra mottled with squat trees and bog, the mountains in the background. Upon arriving at the visitor's center we looked out from the observation deck, and there they were, a white sea of birds on the cliff about a mile away.

After we walked through the exhibits, trying to memorize the distinctive markings of each bird, we embarked on the trail to the cliff's edge. What an experience! Everything quiet and picturesque until we turned the final corner, and then the shrill cacophony of birds accompanied by the smell of guano and fish. We were standing on the edge of a 100m-long cliff, just a few feet away from the Bird Rock where black-legged kittiwakes, cormorants, gulls, thick-billed murres, common murres, razor-billed auks, northern gannets, and black guillemots nested. Most visible were the gannets on the top of the rock, and we could see through the binoculars the parents caring for their young, which had at this point grown quite large but still had their newborn down.

We returned to the main road and had a late lunch at the RV park/restaurant there. We fetched our gear from the hotel at St. Bride's and returned to set up camp at the RV park. Not a lot of net distance covered, but the time spent looking at birds was well worth it.

Distance:27.21 mi
Pedal time:2:32:35
Average speed:11.24 mi/hr
Maximum speed:30.7 mi/hr

(back-dated entry)


At 8/14/2005 01:32:00 AM, Blogger k said...

You should switch your cyclometer over to metric. You feel much better when your average speed is 25kph. (check out my norway cycle blog - an interesting comparison to your trip)

At 8/15/2005 09:37:00 AM, Blogger Victor Chudnovsky said...

I was debating whether to switch or not. I much prefer the metric system, but since all my past stats have been in miles, I figure what the heck...


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