And Oystercatchers, Too

Even though I go to Fort Flagler mainly to see the beautiful Harlequin Ducks, it’s also the only place I’ve ever seen the Black Oystercatcher, which is widespread but “uncommon” in our region. Since I rarely see it even at Ft. Flagler, it was a rare treat when a pair of them flew directly in front of me and landed while I was photographing the Harlequin ducks.

At first I wasn’t even sure what I had seen, particularly since they did a disappearing act right in front. It took considerable searching to see this Oystercatcher lying in the rocks.

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It was, however, easier to see its mate walking toward me while calling loudly and distinctly.

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When I didn’t leave as ordered, the pair flew off,

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giving me a chance to get the only shot I've ever gotten of one actually flying.

When we stopped on the other side of the spit to check on the Harlequin, I also found where the Oystercatchers had flown to. This is the only time I’ve ever seen them actually eating something,

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even though I’m not actually sure what it is it is eating. If it is an oyster, I didn’t see it pry open the shell as I would have expected to see.

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