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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you.  Rain, sun, wind...insects, birds, flowers...meteorites, rocks...seasonal changes...all are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
February 12, 2014
Salish Sea, PNW

I see no Bucket out today, so here's a quick update on the oystercatcher I reported on last week, the male marked with an auxiliary plastic band labeled RA, who I've been calling RAy. The bander told me RA was banded in 2009 along with his mate RJ. Since last fall I have seen RA foraging alone on the beach, every few days. No sign of RJ or any other oystercatcher.

Yesterday afternoon I saw him with a second oystercatcher!

I followed them at a distance trying to get a look at their legs.

The Canada Geese with them on first sight got agitated and flew off, along with one of the oystercatchers. The other stayed behind calling loudly, as only oystercatchers can. The partner returned. After a while they both flew down to the other end of the beach. On my way back from my bike ride I checked out that area of the beach to see if they were there, and if I could get a better look. It was tricky, what with their walking hip deep in the water, behind rocks, each other, not to mention the lurking gulls hoping for a freebie turned up by the industrious oystercatchers.

These two were definitely together.

Ultimately I got a clear look at the partner's legs. Unbanded. RJ is still missing, but RAy has a partner. Considering this is the beginning of the season, I hope this is his new mate.


That's it for me on this breezy sunny day in the Pacific Northwest. Temp in the 40s. What's up in your neck of the woods?

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Shutterbugs and Birds and Birdwatching.

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