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.