August, 2017

August 23, 2017
Blaine Washington

We took a drive to Blaine, Washington, U.S.A., for some time at the Ocean.

Click below to see a short video of Caspian Terns and Black Oystercatchers.

We were drawn to an area on the beach with several Caspian Terns, Glaucous-winged Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls.

Nearby, the beach was littered with dozens of living Sand Dollars. We believe they are the species Eccentric sand dollar (Dendraster excentricus), also known as the Western Sand Dollar or Pacific Sand Dollar. The Sand Dollar is a flattened species of Sea Urchin which burrows into the sand. Sand Dollars have a place in our ecosystem and we know we should leave them alone. We found it very interesting to observe them as we had never seen living Sand Dollars on the beach before.

While we were on the beach, we had to be extremely careful as there were hundreds of tiny Shore Crabs running along the sand, hiding under rocks and shells and eating from barnacles in tide pools. They are not baby crabs. There are two species of these tiny denizens of the shoreline in Washington State. After a few photos, we left to higher ground to avoid stepping on them.

Not so far away, we could see dozens of Great Blue Herons fishing along the shore.

Double-crested Cormorants flew past on their way to the rookery.

Mount Baker, also known as “Koma Kulshan” by many Washingtonians, was visible in the distance.

Purple Martins were caring for their young at the nest boxes, while we were in that area, we enjoyed meeting Sue, who was a very knowledgeable birder.

A Northwestern Crow was sampling the shell fish.

We sat on a log and a flock of 11 Black Oystercatchers landed a safe distance away from us. We enjoyed watching them for quite awhile.

At the parking lot, we enjoyed chatting with Jeremy and Preston, if you two are reading this, it was nice to meet you both.

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