Following the fantastic success of previous years when Avocet chicks have successfully hatched on Two Tree Island, Essex Wildlife Trust are pleased to report that with the support of over 70 volunteers this year has again been a success with the hatching of 20 chicks.
In 2004 and 2005 eggs were stolen just two days prior to hatching and it is believed they were taken by egg thieves. This resulted in a round the clock Avocet watch. Volunteers provided round the clock surveillance of the breeding Avocet from 20th April through to early June. Avocets, notable by their long curved-up black beak, are very selective where they breed, which makes these waders a popular spectacle for bird enthusiasts. The Avocet is legally protected and listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and it is very important that they are not disturbed whilst breeding to ensure that their eggs hatch successfully and the adults return to breed next year.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Councilâ€™s Environmental Projects Manager Stephanie Campbell says, â€œTwo Tree Island is a fantastic nature reserve for wildlife, and the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers this year has been over whelming, many of the volunteers have gone beyond the call of duty to ensure that there is surveillance of these magnificent nesting birds. The passion people have for wildlife is really fantastic and we have had some volunteers travel as far as County Durham in order to play their role in the Watch. I also want to say a special thank you to Mark Bridges, who is the warden of Two Tree Island, as he has played a significant role in recruiting new volunteersâ€.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Councilâ€™s Executive Councillor for Culture, Councillor Derek Jarvis says, â€œThe success of these chicks hatching has been a real community effort involving Essex Wildlife Trust, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, over 70 volunteers and tremendous support
from Southend Police. â€œEveryone who took part in the Avocet Egg Watch can be very proud of themselves for all their well deserved efforts.â€