Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 24 March 2014

Stone Curlew

Today on my Breckland patch I found a pair of Stone Curlews, this is my first record of this species for the year.  March 2013 saw a very cold run of easterly winds which held up bird migration in general, however, Stone Curlews made it back on time and many sadly perished due to the freezing temperatures, this in turn led to birds being emaciated due to not being able to feed.  Fortunately, it would appear that spring 2014 will be much kinder for this wonderful enigmatic species.
Stone Curlew (one of a pair) back on my Breckland patch 24/03/14

4 comments:

  1. Glad to see they're back. Lets hope numbers are not too reduced after the events of last year.

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    Replies
    1. Hi John, yes, it is good to see Stone Curlews back with us. Many suffered last March...a local keeper said he sadly found one dead on his land....underweight and emaciated. Things will hopefully be looking up this year for them.

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  2. Glad they're back...
    our ones here...
    or those still passing through?...
    have been "wikileak"ing every evening recently...
    we had multiples for the last three nights.

    Once last year, we had around eight to ten calling around us...
    to me, amazing to hear...
    but led me to wonder what the Lakenheath area must have sounded like in the Twenties...
    with flocks of 50 to 100 birds calling in flight....
    as they left the warrens...
    for the damper feeding grounds...
    none of us can really imagine the sound...
    when...
    and I mean when...
    I have the time...
    I'll try and record one of the occasional "multiple" wikileak evenings...
    and layer them, time and again, using Audacity....
    to try and re-create the sound of the Brecks...
    as the "Oedicneme Criards" (French name... almost onomatopoeic...)
    went to feed in the early Twentieth Century...
    but please, don't hold your breath...
    we've just had a spruce dismantled....
    and there are a ton of branches to turn into usable woodchip...
    and compost shreddings!

    And as I was about to post this...
    they started calling....
    1.30AM here...
    half-past Midnight to you and my bro'.

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    Replies
    1. Tim, hello once again my friend and may I say, thank you for your comments...as usual, a great read that always keeps me spellbound and entertained.
      Yes, 50 to 100 calling Stone Curlews must have been an experience to behold, one I fear that may never be repeated.
      You mention Lakenheath Tim....what a site it is now, and a reserve which I think will become one of the most visited in tim.....20 years ago a Carrot field, now, extensive reedbeds, plantations, and marshland habitat which attracts very rare and scarce species.....imagine...80+ Hobby hunting insects above a marsh, well, this is a regular site from late spring..an experience to behold indeed.
      Once again Tim...great to get your comments...thank you.
      Paul

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