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.
It was, however, easier to see its mate walking toward me while calling loudly and distinctly.
When I didn’t leave as ordered, the pair flew off,
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,
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.