Thursday 31 March 2016

A Cacophony of Oystercatchers

I've been out on my first longish bike ride for a while today, and by heavens my legs are really feeling it. I've ridden about 28km today, and inevitably my destination was RSPB Langford Lowfields for my first visit of the year.

It's been a lovely day, although there's still a marked chill when the sun disappears behind a cloud. It didn't stop there being a lot of butterflies about, mainly small tortoiseshell, although I did see a comma flee from my bicycle as I scooted through Stapleford Wood on the way.

I didn't see any sand martins while I was there, although they have been reported and there were plenty of midges and other irritants in the air for them to eat. The most notable sights I saw were;

1) A lapwing on Phase 2 enganging in a tumbling courtship flight.

2) A very angry mute swan engaging in an endless pursuit of a canada goose across the water on Phase 2. I have no idea what this goose had done to bring about this water rage, but even when the goose took to the air to get away, the swan followed it. They are probably still at it now, five hours later, in the dark.

3) A trio of oystercatcher that took to the air with a supersonic blast of furious piping, circling the Phase 1 reed bed like it was an aerial Indianapolis 500 for waterfowl. They are very striking flyers even without the noise; their sharp black and white markings really stand out, and they fly very fast too.

All in all, it was a lovely ride. It's a pity the warm weather is going to arrive when I'm at work.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 31.03.16

First cowslips in bloom for me

One legged goose

Oystercatcher island

Looking for food

To the water's edge

Feeding together

In hot pursuit


Redshank and passing mallard

Chest puffed out

Over the reeds

Female reed bunting

Look over there!



The lovely beach hut


  1. Two of my favourite things Si - cowslips and oyster catchers and you managed to include them both - so thank you for that.

  2. Thank you! No-one else seems to like them though, boo hoo!

    1. lol, I'm way behind today, Si. Wonderful selection of species in your photos. Great to get the Oystercatcher pair in the same shot too.

    2. Thanks! Sometimes it can be a frustrating place, sometimes you see loads of stuff about!

  3. Nice pictures Simon. Both Redshanks and Oystercatchers are amongst my favourite waders :-)

    I had never heard of this reserve before but it certainly looks worth a visit if I am ever passing through the area :-)

    Hope you are well :-)

  4. I love the oystercatchers. They're very handsome birds.

  5. Thank you for dropping by David and Gunilla!

  6. I particularly liked your Mallard and Redshank photo, showing their very different sizes! We also enjoyed watching Reed Buntings this week (while looking for Bearded tits, which failed to show up at Minsmere).