I strolled along Grattan Beach in Galway early yesterday morning. The beach above the waterline was strewn with shells, and there appeared to be plenty of unopened cockles/clams lying about. However, any hope of collecting enough to knock out a quick bowl of spaghetti vongole, clam chowder or indeed, cockles and mussels was soon dampened – there was an expert forager patrolling just ahead of me. The picture below shows an oystercatcher (which are common along the shore here in Galway) extracting the meat from a clam. Behind me were a group of hooded crows, feasting on other shellfish. The early birds aren’t just after the worms.

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