Sunday, 21 February 2010
Oystercatcher, Brancaster Staithe
From a purely selfish perspective, one of the great things about the winter on the north Norfolk coast is that there are fewer people around. This means that it is possible at this time of year to have the small coastal harbours almost to oneself even in the middle of the day. So this afternoon I popped into Brancaster Staithe Harbour on my way to Titchwell Marsh.
The tide was out and there only one other car on the harbour hard in which an elderly couple snoozed. Winding down the window I could hear the tell tall crack as a mussel shell hit the ground dropped by a hungry Herring Gull. I have blogged before on this piece of learned behaviour and the response of the local Turnstones to try and take advantage of the cracked open mussel shells before the Herring Gulls are able to reach the ground.
Today I saw a development on this theme as a juvenile Oystercatcher joined a single Turnstone in trying to pinch a adult Herring Gulls meal. Later I photographed an Oystercatcher asleep on top of the sacks of harvested Mussels.