30th December 2014

Two common seaside birds with red legs and beaks, as we travel back north in very cold conditions. The gorgeous Oyster Catcher masses on estuaries in winter where its haunting piping call can be heard across the waters where they feed on mussels, small crustaceans and worms. In winter it is joined by thousands of migrant cousins from Norway. It breeds on almost all the UK’s coasts in spring but in recent years has been found nesting inland more. The Black Headed Gull, as I posted a while ago, doesn’t have a black head in winter, only a couple of small, dark marks, but it’s legs and beak are really bright, as this photo taken in Bexhill two days ago shows. Like the Herring Gull, it is a great scavenger, feeding inland and on rubbish dumps as much as on the coast in modern times. Conditions: Bright, sunny and cold. Temperature: Max 2 – Min0 c.

A very colourful Black Headed gull in its winter plumage

A very colourful Black Haded gull in its winter plumage

This Oystercatcher lands, showing its hit underwings

This Oystercatcher lands, showing its white underwings

An Oystercatcher wading through the shallows, looking for food

An Oystercatcher wading through the shallows, looking for food

The wonderful Oyster Catcher, beginning to breed inland more.

The wonderful Oyster Catcher, showing its orange-red beak and eye-ring. It is beginning to breed more inland.

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