Saturday 9 May 2020

We can CU

People call them "unprecedented times", I cannot possibly say what I call them!!

This year's planned Curlew work, along with so much else, has been shelved, just a small piece of the resulting worldwide data gap in long-term monitoring projects that we will never fill. It is, admittedly, a much smaller sacrifice than some have made and was necessary to help save lives but is a real and present pain in the proverbial all the same.

One small saving grace, for us anyway, is that whilst maintaining all rules on social distancing and not putting anyone at increased risk we have just managed to install Curlew Cam on another nest so that people bored with playing Fortnite or watching old re-runs of TV shows that weren't that great first time round can now fill their waking hours watching a Curlew sat motionless on a nest hoping to catch the once every few hours change-over!

Female curlew on Curlew Country's Curlew Cam 2020

This year's camera is on a nest where both adults have previous.

The male (YELLOW BI) was ringed at Dolydd Hafren on 6th August 2015. Unusually he is known to have nested for two years at a nearby territory (about 2km distant) before moving to the current territory near Church Stoke, Powys, where this is his third nesting attempt in three years (all these last three nests were fenced by Curlew Country and all produced hatched chicks. We cannot be 100% sure but we think at least one or two of the resulting chicks fledged successfully). This male is a bit of an A-lister in the Curlew world having starred in an award-winning film by Billy Clapham called Keeper of the Call and appeared on Springwatch in 2019. He is known to winter at Devoran in Cornwall where Mark Grantham has reported seeing him every winter since he was ringed.

Male bird on his winter retreat to Cornwall (photo courtesy of Mark Grantham)

The female (YELLOW ID) was also ringed at Dolydd Hafren on 27th March 2017. She is also known to have nested at another territory (some 10km distant) but is not known to have successfully hatched or reared young. She is a new pairing for this male who nested with an unringed bird last year. We do not know where she winters - yet!

The link for the live video feed will be available for the duration of the incubation and can be viewed on Curlew Country's website at

 Curlew Country Curlew Cam 2020

Hopefully things will have eased by the end of the breeding season otherwise the male might not be allowed back to Cornwall this winter!