Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Sheppey Avocets !


There's no mistaking the graceful form of the Avocet, the distinctive upturned bill, pied plumage and pale blue legs, what a combination, and the North Kent Marshes are a reliable site to find them.

 I watched these from the Spithead Hide at Elmley, feeding along the incoming tide line on the Swale.




Another good vantage point is the Wellmarsh hide overlooking the flood, they have been breeding here for a few years now,  the males are quite aggressive to other potential rivals which they noisily chase away. including the gulls if they venture too close.



Always seems strange  to me why they persist on breeding here, surrounded by numerous Black Headed Gulls not only competing for the available space on the small islands, but predation must be a problem for them. I'm sure that I read that most of the breeding Avocet chicks were all predated by Gulls last year. 

Not sure if the predation is carried out by the Black Headed gulls or there larger cousins.
Strange bed-fellows though !

Breeding pair Black-Headed gulls
At this time of the year it seems there's just one thing on there minds, courtship,
 well maybe not everyone.
There didn't appear to be any pairs sitting on there nest scrapes at this time.







Lovely birds to watch. lets hope that the chicks survive this year.

2 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures of these iconic birds. They've been spotted here at RPSB Langford, will be heading out to try and spot them myself

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    1. thanks Simon, good luck on your search.

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