20th November 2018

The¬†Curlew calling is one of the most evocative sounds and this one’s call was echoing across the Humber Estuary yesterday, in fading light. With their long, decurved bills these, the largest of our wading birds, are unmistakable but sadly becoming rarer. Curlew are now on the red/ endangered list. They overwinter mostly on estuaries and coast’s like this eastern one, to feed deep in the mud and

Curlew, Humber Estuary

Curlew, Spurn

Curlew, Spurn

Curlew, Humber Estuary

sand, on shellfish, shrimp, worms and other invertebrates. Their name may derive from the old French ‘corliu’, ‘messenger’ (related to courier- to run). Conditions: Quite a dramatic time to be on the far eastern coast of England, with 50 mph winds and showers, hopefully bringing more of our winter migrants to land. Temperature: Max 6 Min 6C.

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2nd November 2015

Curlewour largest wader, present during the autumn and winter on all UK coasts, and calling its evocative bubbling call today at Pett Levels, through the mist. They feed mostly on invertebrates, by touch, as they use their long, curved beaks to probe the mud and sand. 150,000 birds overwinter on our coasts, and there were several busy feeding here today. Their call has clearly been enjoyed for centuries, as recorded in a manuscript from AD 1,000 and probably written earlier:- The Seafarer: “I take my gladness in the cry of the Gannet/ And the sound of the Curlew, instead of the laughter of IMG_2164IMG_5009IMG_5004 IMG_4990men”. Conditions: Heavy fog, clearing for a time to blue skies and warm air before defending again later. Temperature: Max 17- Min 11c.