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OYSTERCATCHER : haematopus ostralegus

West Dunbartonshire may not have a long coastline, but at low tide we can still see them in great numbers on the mudflats of the Clyde. It is a wader that enjoys the shallow waters just as it is receding or rising when they can find a good meal. You will probably notice their shrill peeping call long before you can identify them visiually, but on getting closer you will see their disctinctive black and white feathers, a long red bill and pinky-red legs.

While along the coast they specialise in eating shellfish, particularly cockles and mussels, which they either prise or hammer open with their strong, flattened bills. But they can also be found  further inland along water courses and reservoirs or even on lawns looking for whatever looks tasty.  

This one seen on the roof of Lomond Distiullery in Alexandris seemed to have become isolated from its fellow birds and was shrieking furiously to attract attention.

SCOTTISH WILDLIFE TRUST : https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/species/oystercatcher/

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