Today I spent the day on Littlehampton beach. Not the best spot for wildlife perhaps, but as I headed towards Rustington (away from the crowds), there were a number of birds working the shoreline. The usual collection of gulls along with the occasional ringed-plover, a couple of nervous groups of turnstones and a fair number of oystercatchers. Other than the gulls, everything was a little twitchy. I opted to use one of the beach groynes as a blind, and after a while the birds settled down and got on with their lives. It was uncomfortable and the sand was wetter than I realised. However, it as worth it. After about twenty minutes one of the oystercatchers worked its way along the beach toward me.
The aptly named 'blackish' oystercatcher is more obviously different. All three species have a squeaking call, but (unless my memory is playing tricks on me) I swear that the european oystercatchers is significantly higher in pitch.