Image 49 of 1913
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus L 43cm. Distinctive wader with striking black and white plumage and loud alarm call. Powerful bill used to hammer molluscs off rocks. Sexes are similar. Adult in summer has black upperparts and white underparts with clear demarcation between the two on breast. Note red bill, pinkish legs and beady red eye. In winter, similar but note white half-collar. Juvenile is similar to summer adult but black elements of plumage are brownish and bill and leg colours are subdued. Voice Utters a loud, piping peep call. Status Breeds commonly on coast and beside inland lakes and rivers in N. Mainly coastal in winter, favouring estuaries and mudflats.