Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Oakland Urban Paths: Buffers and Boundaries

The other Saturday urban planner Ruth Miller led about 50 people (and one dog!) on an Oakland Urban Paths walk exploring some buffers and boundaries in Oakland. We started the walk at MacArthur BART with option return by AC Transit bus, making it easily the most transit-friendly walk we've done.

At MacArthur BART we looked at the transit village that's in progress; the BART parking and housing on BART property is completed. From there we meandered above and along 40th Street, talking about transit past (Sacramento Northern Railway, Key System) and present (AC Transit, bike super-sharrow).

Some of the other points of interest and people we saw and talked about:

It was a great walk. Thanks to Ruth for leading us, Charlie for doing his best to keep us safe, and special shout-out for everyone who climbed the hill on Jean Street just so we could go down the stairs on Bonham Way.
The December walk will be a Rockridge ramble, with lots of stairs. Hope to see you on the paths!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Birding at MLK Shoreline

The other weekend K and I went birding at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline. The walk was advertised as accessible and for beginning birders, and was led by Clay Anderson and others from the California Center for Natural History. We saw a Cooper's hawk, great blue heron, lesser egrets, pelicans, and more. But the thing that got the more experienced birders excited was seeing a Ridgway's rail (formerly known as a clapper rail), a bird which is a near-threatened species. It's also less common to see because of its nature—it spends most of its time in long marsh grass. So you'll hear them more than you'll see them, at least once you recognize the call.

Check out more birding walks with the California Center for Natural History and with the Rotary Nature Center at Lake Merritt.

More photos from our birding walk.