This little chick spotted yesterday isn’t as instantly recognisable as it’s parents who are very hard to miss.
Oystercatchers are large black and white wading birds, with long, orange-red bills and reddish-pink legs. When they are in flight, they have an obvious white wing-stripe, a black tail and a white rump that extends as a ‘V’ between the wings. You often hear them before you see them, thanks to their loud ‘peeping’ call.
Britain supports an internationally important number of wintering oystercatchers with up to 45 per cent of Europe’s population choosing to spend the winter here. Overall, the breeding population in England has increased to around 110,000 pairs, but there has been a significant decline in Scotland, the reasons for which are unclear. Due to these local declines, oystercatchers are Amber-listed in the UK and classed as Vulnerable in Europe as a whole.