Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ear-splitting oystercatcher


Over the years I’ve been assaulted by a wide variety birds when I’ve strayed too close to their fledglings. I’ve been dive-bombed by terns, intimidated by short-eared owls, vomited on by fulmars and lured away by lapwings and ringed plovers that were pretending to be injured. However, this oystercatcher takes the award for the noisiest defence of its brood, flying around my head and letting loose a barrage of hysterical high-pitched alarm calls. Still, it did mean that it came close enough for some decent pictures….

6 comments:

  1. They are great pictures Phil.
    Some birds certainly put up a good defence of their young at times.
    Vomiting Fulmars? Now that's extreme. lol

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  2. That's what I call dedication, Keith. I'll stick to the odd Blackbird clucking away when I get too close. :)
    Terrific side on view of the Oystercatcher.

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  3. That oystercatcher needs to wash its bill! I hear them calling around the house and they do get in quite a panic when their young are in danger.

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  4. Thanks Keith, I think terns must take the prize for the most aggressive defenders of their young, as anyone visiting the nesting colonies on the Farnes without wearing a hat will testify...

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  5. I known what you mean about the blackbirds, John. We have a second brood of fledglings in our garden right now and the parents go ape if you go anywhere near them..

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  6. Hi Emma, I always associate oystercatchers calls, along with curlews, with spring - when they pass over our house on the way to the breeding sites in Weardale.

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