Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
Species
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus). Taken at Keyhaven, Hants on June 1st 2016.
Taken at Keyhaven, Hants on June 1st 2016.
(1/640th sec at f11. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus). Taken at Hunstanton, Norfolk on October 22nd 2015.
Taken at Hunstanton, Norfolk on October 22nd 2015.
(1/1250th sec at f8. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 39 - 44 cm; WS: 72 - 83 cm

The Oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings. Because they feed mainly on cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited.

Oystercatchers can be found all round the British coastline. They can also be found inland.

Their usual breeding habitat is open, flat, stony coastlines.

Oystercatchers often gather in large, noisy flocks, especially in the winter.

This species is on the British amber list due to its reliance on cockle beds. There are around 125000 breeding pairs in Britain.

Sightings

26-Mar-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
25-Mar-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2)
05-Feb-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (3)
18-Jan-2018 : Slimbridge, Glos (1)

12-Oct-2017 : Blakeney Point NNR, Norfolk (3)
11-Oct-2017 : Holkham NNR, Norfolk (100+)
09-Oct-2017 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk (30+)
19-Sep-2017 : Portland Bill, Dorset (13)
29-Jul-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1)
30-May-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
01-May-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
21-Apr-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
15-Mar-2017 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (2)
12-Mar-2017 : Rushy Common, Oxon (1)
02-Mar-2017 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (2)

05-Nov-2016 : Playa de Los Lances, Spain (2)
04-Jul-2016 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (6+)
03-Jul-2016 : R. Kent estuary (9)
02-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (6)
01-Jun-2016 : Lymington-Keyhaven NR, Hants (8)
30-Apr-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
27-Apr-2016 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (1)
27-Feb-2016 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2)
21-Feb-2016 : Rushy Common, Oxon (4)

25-Oct-2015 : Hunstanton, Norfolk
24-Oct-2015 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk
22-Oct-2015 : Hunstanton, Norfolk (100+)
10-May-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
01-May-2015 : Arne, Dorset (7+)
30-Apr-2015 : Arne, Dorset (12+)
27-Apr-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
10-Apr-2015 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (2)

01-Aug-2014 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (4)
02-Jul-2014 : North Cave Wetlands, E. Yorkshire (1)
25-May-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
15-May-2014 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (2)
08-May-2014 : Fishguard, Pembrokeshire (2)
08-May-2014 : Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire (1)
08-May-2014 : Newport, Pembrokeshire (8)
06-May-2014 : Skomer, Pembrokeshire (3)
04-May-2014 : Teifi Estuary, Ceredigion (10+)
26-Apr-2014 : Whelford Pools, Glos (2)
24-Mar-2014 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (2)
20-Mar-2014 : Port Meadow, Oxford, Oxon (8)