Curlew Country

Day 8

  2017 is the third year of Curlew Country nest monitoring. In previous years cameras and thermal data loggers were used on over 30 nests to establish why curlew are failing to breed successfully. No chicks survived from the nests. Most of the nests were predated at egg stage and failed to hatch chicks. The …

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Curlew flight

Day 7

  This nest was found by the farmer when out checking on his livestock. The Curlew Country project works in close partnership with farmers who are generally keen to support these birds if we find a nest on their land. Unfortunately curlew nests are notoriously difficult to find and this can leave nests at risk …

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Day 6

  We have noticed that local birds tend to choose grassland of about 30cms in length that is long enough to hide in, but short enough to look out of if necessary. Adults need to be able to hide safely as well as lookout over the vegetation during the early stages of nesting when they …

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Day 5

  Away from moorland and upland areas, curlew have nested in traditional hay meadows which are now much rarer on farmland. Their nesting sites may now be grazed by cattle and/or sheep, or in a crop of silage or hay. This pair are nesting in cattle grazed pasture with rush (juncus) suggesting that there is …

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Day 4

  Both birds take turns to incubate the eggs with a changeover every few hours. The bird not incubating goes to feed nearby if possible and keeps a look out for predators. From time to time you may hear that bird alarm calling from a distance when it senses danger. The alarm calls are shorter …

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Day 3

Curlew Comment The pair are both ‘colour ringed’. You can see the rings on their legs when they stand up in the nest. Tony Cross the project ornithologist ringed these birds and many other curlew at their pre-breeding roost on the River Severn as part of the project work. Please report other colour ring sightings …

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Day 2

  The nest area is fenced temporarily with strands of electric wire to deter mammalian predators such as foxes and badgers. One of our project partners, the Game and Wildife Conservation Trust, told us about a NABU project in Schleswig-Holstein where Natalie Meyer had trialled fences around curlew nests for the first time with success. …

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Day 1

  Curlew are ground-nesting birds. We think that this is the pair that has already tried to nest on a nearby piece of grassland on a common, but their nest was predated either by crows or badgers, so this is a second attempt at nesting.  The ornithologist was drawn to the first attempt at nesting …

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A day out with Curlew Country… by Heather Scott

Heather Scott, a placement student gaining work experience as part of a Harper Adams University Countryside Management Course spent some time with Tony Cross, ornithologist and Amanda Perkins, project manager on Monday 15th May.  She has written a piece about her experience. We started out from the office at about mid-day as Mandi had to …

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Outside Insights… A visit from Slimbridge

On Monday 22nd May, Mike Smart from the ‘Call of the Curlew, Slimbridge Symposium’ group visited the project. Mandi and Tony had been privileged to go with Mike and Natalie Meyer from the NABU project looking around wader nesting sites in Gloucester and Worcester, before they all participated in the Slimbridge symposium the following day. …

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