The Eurasian Oystercatcher

The Oystercatcher is a familiar figure along our coastline, it is a larger easy to identify wader that is found all the way around the coast of Britain and Ireland.  It can also be seen quite a way inland and has a summer range across central Midlands right the way up to the far Northern Islands of Scotland.  Generally it breads around the coast but the breeding range is gradually moving inland as some of the coastal habitat is lost and the numbers increase.  During the winter months the population increases with wintering birds from the Scandinavian coast, indeed the winter population of circa 300,000 pairs is three times the summer population of 100,000 pairs.

There are around a dozen other species of Oystercatcher in the world (including two species which I have photographed in the Falkland islands which are the Magalenic and Blackish Oystercatchers).  Unfortunately some of the other oystercatcher species are not doing so well, the Canary Islands Oystercatcher became extinct during the 20th Century and their is another species endemic to New Zealand that is critically threatened.

The images below are taken at a range of sites and seasons, around the British coast.