This bird is an Oyster Catcher, and was found with its partner on the beach at Nethertown. It is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In England, there are around 110,000 breeding pairs.
During the winter, oystercatchers can be seen on tidal estuaries and rocky shores. During the breeding season, however, they can be found much further inland. Nearly all species of oystercatcher are monogamous, although there are reports of polygamy in the Eurasian oystercatcher.
Oystercatchers are also known to practice “egg dumping.” Like the cuckoo, they sometimes lay their eggs in the nests of other species such as seagulls, abandoning them to be raised by those birds.
They are very territorial during the breeding season, and are quite frightening when in flight, ferociously aiming straight for your head with that long, orange beak – the number of near misses that I’ve experienced are too numerous to count. The horrible little blighters!
The name oystercatcher was coined by Mark Catesby in 1731 as a common name for the North American species H. palliatus, described as eating oysters.
Sometimes I wish I was a bird… so I could fly over certain people and shit on their heads.Unknown