Showing posts from March, 2013

My Favorite Shorebird

This past weekend, I decided to trek closer to home and check out my own beach.  It was a good decision, because I hit the wildlife jackpot.  I headed northeast into Similk Bay.  There wasn't much to see for the first half mile or so.  Even Mount Baker was dressed demurely in an early spring haze.

Then I spotted a pair of Black Oystercatchers(Haematopus bachmani), one of the rarer Washington state shorebirds.  They were busy foraging along the water's edge and appeared oblivious to my presence.  According to Birdweb, the state is host to only about 400 of these birds.

Today's breakfast was Nuttall's Cockle(Clinocardium nuttalli).  The Oystercatcher's bill is a specialized tool for opening mussels and clam shells.  The job still required effort to get the shell open.  This included some interesting foot action.  The reward was a delicious shellfish meal.

Rocky shorelines are the favorite habitat.  They are found along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja Californi…