Living Coasts Operations Manager Clare Rugg, says: “It’s still early, but avocets and stilts are laying eggs, while other waders are busy with courtship behaviour and the search for nest sites. Choughs and Inca terns are making nests - puffins are collecting pine needles for theirs.

“Some African penguins have laid eggs and there are a few chicks, though these will be tucked away in their burrows for a while yet. The macaroni penguins are settling down on their new, expanded nesting area, complete with built-in sun-shade.”

One pair of avocets has chosen to nest right on the beach, in full view of visitors.
Keeper Libor Mach said: “They are our best breeding pair, last year they had two clutches of eggs - we have eight babies from them.”

Avocets make a shallow scrape in the sand and fill it with grass, plants, leaves and whatever else they can find. Incubation usually takes 23 days. Chicks are active a few hours after hatching. They feed themselves from day one, with the parents only providing protection and warmth. They are fully grown in two months.

Quotes The presenter talks were great, we learnt a lot about the animals here. Quotes