The Oystercatchers are a common sight a bit further along the coast around Christchurch Harbour. During the Winter, they come on the occasional foraging expedition on our local cliff, usually in a flock of 8 - 12 birds.

Being unused to people, if you get too close, they all take off..

..on this occasion flying into the late autumn sun. Okay, you can't see much of the birds, but the setting will be meaningful to many in the South of England.

Photograph (above) -January 2003

Photograph (left) - November 2002

The Oystercatcher is approximately the size of a small gull. One day in December 2003 a Turnstone decided to join a small group of Oystercatchers who called by, providing a good opportunity to see the difference in size.

Photograph (right) - December 2003

The two birds pictured below do not show the characteristic bright orange / red eye. Also the colour of their legs and bills is not fully developed and the back is somewhat brownish. All of this suggests that they are first winter birds - which may be why they let me get a little closer than usual. These photos will enlarge quite well.

Photographs (above) - December 2004

A few months later, these birds have conspicuous red eyes and brighter leg colouring. They were also less confiding. I wonder whether they were the same ones?

Photographs (above) - February 2005


This group allowed me to get a bit closer so these pictures will enlarge pretty well.


Photographs (right and below) - November 2008

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