La Jolla oystercatchers
Early Tuesday morning, the juvenile oystercatcher that has potential as a countable American is still present and is another 100 or 200 yards south of where it was yesterday all day, which is well down Coast Boulevard where the road finally leaves the immediate coast and there are houses along the shore, blocking your view and preventing parking. The bird is with a couple Blacks right in front of the first two or three houses.
The series of photos of the bird obtained yesterday are quite good and show all the needed characters for a scoring using the Jehl Scale. I’m waiting to get several independent people to do the scoring and see where we end up. You can Google the “oystercatcher jehl scale” and see the scale for yourself. I did the scoring yesterday evening and depending on a couple of the characters and how one scores them. I came up with a total between 29 and 31, which perfectly straddles the dividing line between hybrid and countable American, which is 30!!!!!! This is an artificial scale and there’s nothing magical about a particular single number . So this bird is quite close and is just over the line one way or the other. Be aware that most hybrids are in the 25 to 29 range and not lower, so it is not unusual to have problematic birds that are quite close, such as the adult that has been present for quite some time in the same area, which I also saw this morning but farther north near it’s usual La Jolla Cove site.
Paul Lehman, San Diego