A is for Avocet.

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When I was a teenager I had to travel to see an Avocet. I remember travelling from Hampshire to the next county and getting an RSPB boat trip in Poole Harbour in Dorset and saw 1 Avocet in the distance. Today some 45years later I can travel down the road a few miles to Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve and see many of these beautiful birds – adults juvenile birds and even some chicks. Back at Poole Harbour, numbers have risen from 25 to almost 2,000 in just 30 years.

I have no apology but I have posted a lot of pictures in today’s blog.

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The Avocet is Schedule 1 species they are the emblem of the RSPB and symbolises the bird protection movement in the UK more than any other species. Once almost extinct from British shores by 1840, the Avocet made a comeback thanks to the work of conservation bodies.

In the late 1940s they started breeding on reclaimed land near the Wash in East Anglia which was returned to salt marsh to make any landings from German forces difficult. The increase in numbers represents one of the most successful conservation and protection projects in the UK.

While the adult birds are black and white with a distinctive upturned bill. Juvenile birds have paler markings which will turn white as they get older.

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Avocent’s are often very relaxing to watch slowly wading up and down feeding as they gracefully  sweep their bill from side to side through the water. However, suddenly they spring into action and chase off other birds.

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My second visit to Titchfield Haven today following the reopening of the reserve following lockdown and the Avocets were very on the top of the list of birds to watch in detail.

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2 thoughts on “A is for Avocet.

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