Avocets set up home at city marshes

THIS family of avocets are the first of their breed at Farlington Marshes.

Friday, 14th July 2017, 12:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:35 am

Instantly recognisable for their curved beaks, they have set up home at the nature reserve, run by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

The marshes have played host to avocets roosting for a number of years.

But this is the first year that they have stayed for summer and laid eggs, with several chicks hatching and two successfully surviving to fledging.

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Trust reserves officer Chris Lycett said: ‘It’s really exciting to gain a new breeding bird at Farlington Marshes, especially one that with such a remarkable conservation story.

‘Next year we’ll be giving them a helping hand by putting in put in measures to hopefully boost their numbers and ensure better breeding success.’

Avocets, have distinctive black and white plumage and upturned beaks andwere once a common sight along our shores.

But egg collecting, taxidermy, and other threats meant that numbers plummeted by the mid-19th century.

More recently habitat loss has seen further declines.