Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
(aka Avocet)
Avocet, Salthouse, Norfolk, England, June 2002 - click for larger image England

The Pied Avocet has re-colonised parts of north-west Europe in the last 50 years or so but is also present in suitable habitat in southern Europe, north Africa, the Middle East and in parts of Asia.

Avocet, Salthouse, Norfolk, England, June 2002 - click for larger image In Britain it is largely confined to East Anglia and must be one of the great success stories for conservation in these areas.

It feeds on insects, shellfish and worms which it finds by touch in mainly muddy water by sweeping its open bill sideways through the water. Its nest is a lined scrape on bare ground near water.

Avocet, Salthouse, Norfolk, England, June 2002 - click for larger image Its feeding and nesting requirements determine the type of habitat in which it is found, i.e. shallow lagoons with brackish water and bare margins as well as estuaries and mudflats in winter.

Close up it is unmistakable and very elegant with its long upturned bill and its black and white plumage.

Avocet, Minsmere, Suffolk, England, March 2005 - click for larger image
Avocet, Minsmere, Suffolk, England, March 2005 - click for larger image
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