End of 2017 Breeding Season – Project Summary

Did any chicks survive? One morning at the end of the season, I received an email from a farmer in Wales to say that they had seen ‘their’ curlew family flying greater distances from the farm, and now they have disappeared. Phew – we now know that some chicks have fledged successfully and stand a much greater chance of surviving. Their first two years will be spent on the coas...
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Until the last Curlew Calls… Blog by Mary Colwell Hector

It was a bitter-sweet visit to the Curlew Country project in Shropshire on June 12th. It was a baking hot day, and for a couple of hours before lunch Amanda Perkins and Tony Cross from the project, Phil Sheldrake (RSPB), Mike Smart (ace birdwatcher) and myself tried to find three or four chicks that were somewhere in a large hay meadow. They had hatched from a nest that had bee...
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Day 24

  For over a decade local Community Wildife Groups have been carrying out adult wader surveys from rights of way according to British Trust for Ornithology methodology. This citizen science discovered the dramatic decline in the local curlew population and now informs the project about curlew territories helping to point the nest finding team in the right direction. Over the...
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Day 23

  A Project Advisory Group oversees the technical work of the project. Local partners include Natural England and the National Trust, and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is a partner at a national level. During the early stages of the project the local RSPB representative was hugely important in helping us to design the Nest Monitoring Brief. The BASC has...
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Day 22

  This year we have been responding to requests to help others from curlew projects starting up around the country to start to train them in the nest finding process. It is important that those hoping to learn how to find nests already have a good understanding of wildlife and a lot of patience. We often think that despite our best efforts there is a lot of luck involved and...
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Day 21

  The project needs funding to help secure a future for local curlew and play its part in the survival of the wider curlew population. Please help us to secure a Country for Curlew, find out how you can help here. Curlew Fact Without essential intervention work to help the population recover, it is estimated that curlew could be lost outside moorland and upland areas w...
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Day 20

  To reverse dramatic local curlew population decline it is necessary to raise higher numbers of chicks. Alongside the trial of electric fencing to deter mammalian predators, lethal fox control is being carried out during the breeding season by specialist contractors. The Curlew Country project has received a great deal of professional advice in respect of achieving high sta...
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Day 19

  Last year to celebrate the visit to the local study area of Mary Colwell Hector, Curlew ‘ambassador’, a range of arts activities were initiated. Writing and sculpture workshops were held and a curlew choir was formed. Not only was awareness raised about the plight of the curlew among audiences old and new, but funds were raised by those inspired to help the project as ...
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Day 18

  In 2016, whilst ringing the ornithologist Tony Cross satellite tagged two curlews at Dolyd Hafren that we named Dolly and Fran, (much to his disapproval). Fran travelled to the Begwyn Hills, but was unlikely to have bred given her movement pattern and the last recorded signals for her were off the coast of Belgium. Dolly travelled to the Forest of Bowland where local RSPB ...
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Day 17

  We are collaborating with the British Trust for Ornithology to produce a film on curlew observation, to help those keen to undertake curlew monitoring in the future. Local wildlife photographer Ben Osborne has been filming curlews throughout their breeding season, both in the Shropshire Hills and Welsh Marches and also on a managed grouse moor in Wensleydale.   ...
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