Monday, 17 August 2009

Stalking Oystercatchers

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 last time I was this close to an oystercatcher was on the Falklands. There are two species there. The magellanic looks similar to our own, but with paler legs and eyes.

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.


  1. I've never heard of oystercatchers but they are cute little birds.
    You got some really great shots.
    I wish that I had a proper lens for that sort of thing.

  2. Yeah I am same as James, never seen one. Excellent photos as always. Anna :)

  3. Great images, Climping is a bit better for Birds as it is a lot quieter but getting that close to a Oystercatcher is impressive! I know what you mean about the sand, countless times I have driven home with a wet bum.


  4. Hi,
    I did not even now that there was a black oystercatcher. It is a wonderful one... We only have the normal species over here and they are also very hard to approach. Well done, you got very nice shots of them both.

  5. Thanks for all the comments. And thanks for the Climping tip Liam. I went there many years ago (before I got into the wildlife photography thing), but have not been back since. I seem to remember the car-parking being extortionate?

  6. Yes you are right on the car park, but I don't normally have any problems at 5:30am as you can park on the road, only during the summer mind.

  7. Stunning Shots of your oystercatchers...wonderful


Thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment on my blog!