Last week, the first avocet nest, (‘Twiggy’ as she was affectionately called for her nest DIY skills), hatched 4 fluffy little chicks. There is now a grand total of at least 26 avocet chicks loose on the freshmarsh. Parent avocets (with 8 legs) can be seen close to the Parrinder hide brooding their young and protecting them from the elements. Baby avocets can run around and feed themselves within a few hours of hatching and become quite adventurous; so don’t worry if you see a lone chick - it is just off exploring! The chicks will fledge at around 35-42 days, but often remain dependent on their parents for some time afterwards.
Originally, the avocets nested on the brackish marsh; however under the Coastal Change Project this area will transform into a saltmarsh. To replace the lost habitat, a new island was constructed on the freshmarsh. It was originally estimated that there would be 10 pairs on this new island, but this month we have recorded a peak count of 80 avocet nests - a record for the reserve!