OYSTER-CATCHER, Hamatopus ostralegus – Resident.
The Oyster-catcher occurs in small numbers at various places on the coast, and nests on the Bishop’s Rock, also on Skomer, where we found pairs of old birds and their newly-hatched young on the last day of May, 1886. In their handsome plumage of vividly-contrasted black and white the old birds, as they flew anxiously low overhead against the blue sky, were beautiful objects.
Mr. Tracy states that, on several occasions, he took the eggs of the Oyster-catcher on a small island at the entrance of Milford Haven, and Sir Hugh Owen has shot the bird on the sands at Goodwick. The plaintive whistle of the Oyster-catcher, or Sea Pie (to give it its commoner name), is one of the characteristic bird-notes of the pebbly beaches around our coasts. We have not often met with the bird on a sandy shore.