Spring is in the air at nature reserve

RSPB Nature Reserve Leighton Moss.
RSPB Nature Reserve Leighton Moss.

Spring has sprung on Morecambe Bay with the arrival of 14 avocets.

The delicate black and white wading birds have started to arrive at RSPB Leighton Moss 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.

Avocets have been breeding at Leighton Moss since 2001. The past two years have been particularly successful for them, with a total of 79 young ones leaving the nest.

This year Leighton Moss is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the reserve is hoping it could be a record breaking year for the birds.