Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Black Oystercatchers

Black Oystercatchers are fascinating. When foraging among the dark rocks at the water's edge, they blend in so perfectly, you can completely miss seeing them -- except for that SCREAMINGLY BRIGHT ORANGE-RED BILL!

It's almost as if they followed the evolutionary path worn smooth by all successful species but momentarily stepped off and declared, "I need some bling!"

Black Oystercatchers are fairly uncommon along a narrow stretch of coastal waters from Alaska south to Baja California. I'm fortunate enough to live along that narrow band.

I accidentally flushed this pair while walking along a stretch near a harbor. They took flight before I could raise my camera even halfway. But a week later, I returned, walking as slowly and silently as I could, and there they were -- in the exact same spot.