Oystercatcher's MOT nest

THEY'RE more accustomed to the serene and peaceful Suffolk coast where they can prey on juicy muscles and cockles.But these Oystercatchers have instead decided to make their home amid the fumes and noise of an Ipswich garage.

THEY'RE more accustomed to the serene and peaceful Suffolk coast where they can prey on juicy muscles and cockles.

But these Oystercatchers have instead decided to make their home amid the fumes and noise of an Ipswich garage.

A pair of the black and white birds, easily recognised due to their distinctive orange-red bills, are raising a chick on the roof of Cattermoles MOT centre in West End Road.

Company director Ivan Cattermole said: “We've been here 70 years and never had Oystercatchers before. We don't know where they came from.”

Mr Cattermole said a pair of seagulls are also nesting on the same roof just yards from the Oystercatchers.

He said: “We've got some seagulls nearby and there's a hell of a racket when they all have a fight with each other. They make a terrific noise.

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“The Oystercatchers are very determined. You might think they are a more fragile bird but they see off the seagulls.”

While they are mostly seen in coastal areas, according to experts the birds are being spotted more and more in inland locations.

And a second pair has also nested above the garage showroom next door.

Mr Cattermole said: “I saw on Springwatch that they are moving inland but no one knows really why.

“You don't really expect them on a garage roof.”

Underneath their home, exhausts are tested, brakes checked and oil changed, while above the pair is busy raising a chick.

Mr Cattermole said: “We think there was more than one chick but we have only seen one in the last few days.”

Despite the occasional noise the birds are proving popular with staff at the garage.

Mr Cattermole added: “We all really like them. They are an attractive bird - much nicer than seagulls.”

Are you a fan of the Oystercatcher? Do you know of a pair in an unusual location? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Latin name - Haematopus ostralegus

The Oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs.

In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings. Because it eats cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited.

The Oystercatcher breeds on almost all UK coasts. Over the last 50 years, more birds have started breeding inland.

Most UK birds spend the winter on the coast where they are joined on the east coast by birds from Norway.

They eat mussels and cockles on the coast and mainly worms inland.

TWO collared doves have set up their home between two security cameras at a car dealership in west Suffolk.

They were first spotted a few days ago at Turners Hyundai in Mildenhall Road, Bury St Edmunds and staff have welcomed them into their new home.

Sales manager Geoff Fisher said: “They are just there between the two security cameras. They do not interfere with the cameras at all so we're not going to move them.

“None of the customers have noticed them yet. Or if they have nobody has mentioned them. I only happened to notice them because I looked up and there they were. We've now got the nice sound of cooing around the forecourt.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said a nest between two security cameras was unusual though stressed if any bird was likely to try and make such a nest, it would be a dove.

“Some birds build cup-shaped nests and some spend hours filling it with exactly the right things. Collared doves, however, make pretty ropey nests and it is not unheard of for eggs to fall through a bit of the nest they have been too lazy to finish off.

“Collared doves simply need something to wedge a nest between and will use twigs and bits of rubbish to build them.”