British wildlife recordings
Recurvirostra avosetta : Avocet - Recurvirostridae
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Havergate Island, Suffolk: OS Grid Reference(641500,247500)
Avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta
The call of the avocet recorded on Havergate Island, Suffolk. In the summer months avocets can be seen along the east coast of England, searching for invertebrates in the shallow waters of coastal lagoons. These distinctly marked black and white waders sweep their upturned beaks through the water or sediment, collecting hidden crustaceans and worms. Another favourite meal is aquatic insects, which are picked from the water’s surface. In winter these birds relocate to estuary sites along the south-west coast. It can be recognised either by its flute-like ‘kloot’ or the harsher ‘kleep kleep’ call. Becoming extinct in 1842, over a century passed before avocets began breeding once more at British lagoon sites. Numbers have increased significantly since the 1970s, although the species is still classed as a specially protected bird under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Avocets are probably most famous for being the official emblem of the RSPB and represent one of the most successful conservation projects the UK has ever seen.