The Oystercatcher is a bird that is found along our coastline during the winter months, but has started to move inland to breed, where it nests on river banks, the shores of lakes and gravel pits. A bird that does not eat or catch oysters, but instead it feeds on mussels and cockles at the coast and worms inland. The population of this bird has been slowly growing during the last 50 years, although in the 1970`s it was `culled` in South Wales to protect the commercial cockle industry (this has now, thankfully stopped) and has a breeding population of around 30-40,000 pairs.
The Cormorant in the photo above looks to be of the european race sinensis which has started to colonise Eastern Britain due to the white patches on the crown and upper neck. Another bird whose fortunes are linked to commercial fishing interests, with calls being made for the bird to be `culled` due to its liking for eating fish. Whilst Cormorants undoubtedly take fish, long-term damage to commercial fish stocks has not been proven and the bird remains protected, although if fisheries can prove damage is being done they can apply for a license to shoot a limited number of these birds. The population is around 12,000 pairs.
Not everything in nature is black and white.