The Curlew is one of my all-time favourites and we have been lucky to see and, more magically hear them most days on our trip to the North East. It is the largest European wading bird and can be found inland on moors, and all around our coasts and estuaries, marshes and damp grasslands. The numbers build along the coasts from July, so autumn and winter are good times to spot them. They eat many things but especially worms, shellfish and shrimps, which they detect by touch and their long, curved bills reach areas other birds can’t reach! They have two wonderful, haunting calls, an onomatopoeic “curl-eew’ and a beautiful bubbling, rising call (listen on the RSPB site). I’m clearly not the
first to love them. A manuscript from 100 AD of a poem called “The Seafarer” says- “I take my gladness in the cry of the gannet and the sound of the curlew/ Instead of the laughter of men”. Conditions: Some sun replaced by lowering cloud and showers. Temperature: Max 12- Min 10 C.