As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Avocets arrive in abundance at RSPB reserve in north Lancashire

by Aurora Ciccioli. Published Mon 14 Apr 2014 12:26

With the weather becoming warmer and the nights lighter, spring is certainly in the air at the RSPB nature reserves in North Lancashire.

The Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay nature reserve in Silverdale, has reported a very definite sign that winter is over, with the arrival of 43 avocets - the bird which is also the symbol of the society. 

These delicate black and white wading birds arrive at Leighton Moss in March from their over wintering grounds in south west England and Spain.

They take up residence for the summer on the saltmarsh area of the reserve in order to have their young. Although these birds, which have a distinctive upturned beak, are now thriving in several areas of the country, this hasn't always been the case.

Alasdair Grubb, Assistant Warden at RSPB Leighton Moss, said: "The avocet was extinct as a breeding bird in the UK by the 1840s, due to the drainage of wetlands for agriculture.

"However, flooding of the East Anglian coastal marshes for defences in the Second World War provided the perfect home for them and a tiny population took up residence.

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