I’m currently reading the third volume of the Ladybird Book of British Birds and their nests from the 1950s again. Here it is:
Times have changed:
Although this handsome bird is called the Oyster-Catcher, it certainly does not catch oysters. It is a bird of the seashore and tide’s edge, and lives on the small shellfish and little crabs that it finds there by probing with its powerful beak.
It certainly does. Here’s one flying past from Westray
Oyster-Catchers are very noisy and excitable birds, strong fliers and good swimmers. When not disturbed, which is not often, they walk about most sedately.
Here’s one looking sedate rather than excitable:
The nest is just a hollow scraped in the shingle without any lining, and the eggs match the stones so well that they are very difficult to find.
So difficult to find, indeed, that I failed to find it:
Because of its truly pied black and white colouring, this bird is often called the Sea Pie.
Not nowadays, they aren’t. The population of Oystercatchers expanded from the 1960s to the 1990s but has reduced by over 40% over three generations since.
It’s a lovely name for a lovely bird, though.