Eurasian Oystercatcher

1/640s at f9.0, ISO:800, Canon EOS-1D X w/800mm, x1.4 converter

The Oystercatcher is one of the largest waders in the region. Despite its name, oysters do not form a large part of its diet. The bird still lives up to its name, as few if any other wading birds are capable of opening oysters at all. This is a migratory species over most of its range. The European population breeds mainly in northern Europe, but in winter the birds can be found in north Africa and southern parts of Europe. Although the species is present all year in Ireland, Great Britain and the adjacent European coasts, there is still migratory movement:the large flocks that are found in the estuaries of south-west England in winter mainly breed in northern England or Scotland. The Asian populations show similar movements. The birds are highly gregarious outside the breeding season. The nest is a bare scrape on pebbles, on the coast or on inland gravelly islands. 2 to 4 eggs are laid. Both eggs and chicks are highly cryptic.