Whilst “A” is for Avocet, “E” is for the Elegance they show in their every move.

Avocet 1 ©HelenBushe

For as long as I can remember, the avocet has been the emblem of our Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

When I started birdwatching almost 50 years ago, the likelihood of me seeing an avocet was about on a par with winning the jackpot in the lottery. I knew that a few sometimes migrated to a wetlands in East Anglia and some years they didn’t!

However, and I suppose it’s due to climate change, they are now frequent visitors to a couple of places in the North West of England.

The elegance of both males and females is matched by their fierceness in defending their territory especially when they have eggs or young. Their nests are totally exposed to predators as you can see in the foreground of this picture:

Avocet & Eggs ©HelenBushe

The avocet here is seeing seeing off a swan who dared come too close:

Avocet & Swan ©HelenBushe

Black-headed gulls are a constant threat. Just after I took this shot the avocet turned around and went into full “warrior mode”. The gull beat a hasty retreat:

Avocet & Gull ©HelenBushe

I have more pictures from another year of avocets’ courtship displays and mating rituals, but that’s for another post!

In the meantime, why not pop over to Lisa’s Weekly Bird Challenge for more “Birds Beginning with “A”.


bushboy · 12 October 2020 at 01:26

Avocets are on my list but have only seen them from a distance

V.J. Knutson · 11 October 2020 at 17:28

Beautiful photos. Love the avocets.

    Helen Bushe · 11 October 2020 at 17:34

    Thank you. Much appreciated.

      V.J. Knutson · 11 October 2020 at 17:36


      Lisa Coleman · 12 October 2020 at 00:35

      These are wonderful! I’m glad you talked about how they have their nests out in the open. We see them with elegance, but to observe them in defense mode is phenomenal! Can’t wait to see your photos of them in their mating ritual.

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

%d bloggers like this: