The Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) is a very distinct shore bird-black and white with a long bright red/orange beak and eyes. Its black/white colouration gave it its old name of sea pie (like the magpie inland).
It does not catch oysters as its name suggests but rather mussels and other types of molluscs and worms. Its special sword shaped beak means it can open certain types of shell which other waders can not and parent birds pass on their own unique technique to their young! They don’t make nests but use a scrape in the shore to lay their eggs. They have even been known to practice egg-dumping in other birds nests, similar to the Cuckoo!
Ireland is an important breeding ground for Oystercatchers and healthy numbers are always present around the Hook. This individual was pictured probing the sand on Grange Beach.