Avocets breed at Wildlife Trust reserve for first time

Avocets have successfully bred for the first time at our Farlington Marshes nature reserve

Avocets, with their distinctive black and white plumage and upturned beaks, were once a common sight along our shores. However, egg collecting, taxidermy, and other threats meant that numbers plummeted by the mid-19th century. More recently habitat loss has seen further declines.

Farlington Marshes nature reserve near Portsmouth is vital in the local area as a safe place for winter birds to rest, and has played host to avocets roosting for a number of years. However this is the first year that they have stayed for summer and laid eggs, with several chicks hatching and two successfully surviving to fledging.

Avocets breeding at Farlington Marshes for the first time

Avocets breeding at Farlington Marshes for the first time © Chris Lycett

Chris Lycett, reserves officer at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: “It’s really exciting to gain a new breeding bird at Farlington Marshes, especially one 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.”