Doing my bit for Curlew conservation

James Common

The haunting call of the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) is one of the most iconic, and indeed, enjoyable sounds in nature. The rippling trill of Britain’s largest wading bird evoking mist-clad moorlands, windswept coastal estuaries and other exquisite wild places. It is a sound which, once heard, is not soon forgotten; the very embodiment of our islands rugged yet fragile countryside, and a sound which, to me, brings back myriad fond memories. From childhood walks around the Blyth Estuary – my local patch – and from further afield, in the Scottish uplands during my post-university years. Despite this, however, it is a sound which is heard less often in the present day – due to our own ignorance. The species continued and troubling decline recently highlighted in the State of Birds 2016 report.

The factors attributing to the decline of the Curlew are poorly understood; though a number of…

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