American or hybrid oystercatcher


lehman.paul@verizon.net
 

Acting as a messenger, David Trissel and Dean Budd and possibly others had an American-type Oystercatcher at La Jolla Cove this morning around 6:30 a.m. and soon thereafter. After a while it flew south and continued south past Children's Pool. The stretch of rocky coast south of Children's Pool is where some of the black oystercatchers have been frequenting recently. The bird today looks better than some of the previous more obvious hybrid oystercatchers, with a cleaner breast demarcation, although it clearly shows an entirely cloudy rump. But most of the rest of it looks better. I've only seen photos on my phone and they are back-of-the-camera shots that Dean took, so we'll know more later when we see better versions of the photos, but the bird may or may not be an acceptable American if one uses the Jehl scale.

Another interesting oystercatcher was photographed a few days ago at the tide pools at Point Loma which did not show enough detail to know whether a barely acceptable American or a hybrid. It could well have been the latter, but it wasn't as obvious as some. It had slightly messier breast than today's La Jolla bird.