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