Where the BLOYs Are

Black Oystercatcher
Black Oystercatcher on the rocks at Green Point in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

I’ve got a couple of days off this week and today headed out to the rocky outcrops below the Green Point campground in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The rocks at Green Point are excellent for intertidal exploration, and are often good for shorebirds that prefer rocky coastline.

At Green Point, a pair of black oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani)—know as BLOYs in birding shorthand—have successfully nested and have two chicks. I’ve borrowed a Sigma 70-300mm telephoto lens from work and thought that this might be a good chance to try it out. I have to say that I’m not really impressed with the quality of this lens and the images but the light was less than ideal (mid day). At least I didn’t have to get too close to the bird in order to get some photographs.

Something to think about while exploring natural areas in your own backyard. Make sure to give shorebirds and their young plenty of space at this time of year. And despite signs to the contrary I saw plenty of people walking their dogs off leash in the area. Of course, the standard argument of this type of dog owner is that their dog is always well behaved and would never cause a problem. Unfortunately, it is often this dog owner who doesn’t see that his or her animal chasing wildlife as unnatural behaviour and detrimental to wild animals. One can only hope that the same dog is off leash when it meets one of Pacific Rim’s larger predators. Problem solved.


  1. A bit harsh on the dog – perhaps the owner could meet with the large predator.

  2. I guess you’re right – it’s the owner that is making the decision and not the dog…

  3. I have the same lens. I think it’s the autofocus missing its target by a metre or so. My next lens may very well be a replacement for this one. (I appreciate your photo talk, btw. Always nice to hear the tech part of the photos you capture)

  4. Nice shot! Looks like that bird has a band on its leg. Is there any kind of monitoring program going on at this reserve?

  5. Thanks for the comment Brauna – Parks Canada is actively monitoring the population of Black Oystercatchers as an indicator species for rocky intertidal ecological health. You can read more about it at the Pacific Wildlife Foundation website and the Parks Canada website (note that it seems like the Parks Canada website is currently down).

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