Photo Story - A study in black
When I first started photographing African Black Oystercatchers almost 10 years ago, I didn't have a plan. I guess I still don't. What first got me passionate about these stunning birds was their ongoing struggle for survival. Living on a small band of land that stretches along the coastline from Mozambique to Angola, continual urban development among other things has kept this species at risk. Due to a small population size and a low successful reproductive rate, oystercatchers have seen their numbers fluctuate through the years.
When I first stared photographing Oystercatchers their future seemed unclear. In some ways I think I was both focused on documenting their struggle, as well as intrigued by the lack of images showcasing this beautiful species. I set out to document their every behaviour, from mating to laying eggs, to raising young, and it is something I am still working on.
I still don't have a plan for this project, and with the oystercatchers numbers growing each year, I am thrilled to not be recording this species demise. At some point I will find a purpose for these images, but until I do, here is a selection of some of my favourite photographs of the African Black Oystercatcher.