Iconic wading bird is breaking records at WWT Washington

WWT Washington have recorded their highest ever number of avocet on site

Avocet are achieving all sorts of new records this year despite the breeding season only just beginning for these regionally rare wading birds.

WWT Washington Wetland Centre welcomed back the first avocet of the season on 16 February, the earliest these birds have ever arrived at the local nature reserve. Then on 26 April, the highest ever record of adult birds was achieved when 50 birds were counted, 8 more adults than last year’s previous record.

The black and white waders are currently pairing and nest-building on the shoreline of Wader Lake, as well as on the shingle islands, which were enhanced and doubled in size in 2015 thanks to a £21.4K funding boost from Biffa Award.

WWT Washington’s reserve manager John Gowland said, “We’re excited to have this many adult birds so early in the season.”

“Last year, the ‘beast from the East’ caused many problems for birds nesting around our site and contributed to initial failed breeding attempts for many, including avocet. However, a second attempt proved more positive as 24 avocet chicks successfully fledged last year. 

“High numbers of adults so far this year and hopefully better weather could mean we’re in for a very successful breeding year. For these birds to return year after year is a fantastic achievement and a real conservation success story for us here at Washington.”

John added “The islands on Wader Lake are a vital nesting and breeding habitat for many bird species. This is something we continually improve and add to as part of our management plan.”

Avocet first arrived at Washington Wetland Centre in 2006, when the first ever pair was spotted. Since then numbers have steadily increased and are now at an all-time high.

As well as increasing nesting space for avocets, the continued improvements benefit a host of other birds, including regionally important lapwing and a significant local population of breeding common tern, an amber-listed bird.

For more information on WWT Washington Wetlands Centre Click here

Share this

Did you know?

Perhaps Sunderland's most prominent landmark is Penshaw Monument. It was built in 1844 in honour of the first Earl of Durham, John George Lambton. Penshaw was modelled on Theseion, the Temple of Thesus in Athens.


RT : How excited are we?! The fantastic are coming to Sunderland Airshow. Everyone get your dancing shoe… https://t.co/AqPEhjT5KD 2 days 21 hours ago
Tall Ships won best overall event! Lots of great nominations and a great night for Sunderland at 3 days 12 hours ago
Beautiful trophy designed by graduate Jade Tapson https://t.co/6j6syDIB2h 3 days 13 hours ago
Sunderland band taking to the stage at the and sounding great. https://t.co/plXwtlfanF 3 days 13 hours ago
The Tall Ships Sunderland won best event in Sunderland in 2018! Fantastic news and great recognition for the event… https://t.co/MyJKeaF6fJ 3 days 14 hours ago
We’re at the in the lovely Middlesbrough Town Hall tonight, lots of fantastic Sunderland nom… https://t.co/KZy5c5JgJb 3 days 15 hours ago
What a fantastic gem of a place! We’ve just toured the Bowes Railway and highly recommend a visit. Fascinating hist… https://t.co/eNEfegqnDr 3 days 18 hours ago
RT : We're over the moon to announce 's mural in our entrance has just been officially unveiled to the p… https://t.co/swWDQ65TWY 4 days 1 hour ago
Another Bank Holiday weekend on it's way - yay! and there's lots of great stuff happening in our Why no… https://t.co/qEiXLLFkiE 4 days 20 hours ago
RT : 📣 Announcement! 📣 We’re excited to let you know that Summer Streets Festival is returning to Sunderland on Saturday… https://t.co/ZtQpAjOMXo 4 days 21 hours ago
RT : A social and political pioneer worthy of remembrance, Dr Marion Phillips was the first female MP to represent Sunde… https://t.co/vsfwUMUrBe 4 days 21 hours ago
RT : Take a fresh look at the centre of Sunderland. We’re shop full of surprises! ✨ Shop til 8pm every Thursday and rec… https://t.co/eCMRVVKBof 5 days 13 hours ago
RT : Next week today will be our Medieval Fayre! We hope you're as excited as we are! https://t.co/p5ViVF1gBn 5 days 13 hours ago
RT : Houghton hosted the first Scrantastic food festival at the weekend, with guests including ,… https://t.co/j5vSUTnMZ6 6 days 15 hours ago
If you enjoyed Scrantastic over the weekend, there’s only a few weeks until Sunderland Food and Drink Festival. Cel… https://t.co/82mR3RjyFl 6 days 21 hours ago


Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
7 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.