Just past the Entrance to the RSPB Saltholne Reserve on Teesside is a small island where, at this time of Year, pairs of Pied Avocets come to breed. There is a small wooden blind with 2 viewing apertures which provides good viewing of these birds without disturbing them.
This year seems to be a good year for the Avocets , with around 10 breeding pairs. Last weekend (22nd May 2011) 4 or 5 Avocet Chicks were counted along the edge of the island feeding.
The Pied Avocet is the emblum of the RSPB
The Pied Avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta, is a striking white wader with bold black markings. Adults have white plumage except for a black cap and black patches in the wings and on the back. They have long, upturned bills and long, bluish legs. It is approximately 16.5-17.75 inches (42–45 cm) in length of which the bill is approximately 2.95-3.35 inches (7.5–8.5 cm) and the legs are approximately 3-4 inches (8–10.5 cm). Its wing-span is approximately 30-31.5 inches (77–80 cm). Males and females look alike. The juvenile resembles the adult but with more greyish and sepia tones.
The call of the Avocet is a far-carrying, liquid, melodious kluit kluit.
If you are anywhere near this location and have a bit of time to spare make sure you go along and see them.
Until next time