December 3rd   Leave a comment

There were two curlew feeding for most of the afternoon in Beech Walk Park. Curlews often feed in grassy areas and in open fields away from the shore but like to have a bit of space around them. It was unusual to see a pair feeding so happily close to the trees and houses around the park. They walked away from people crossing the park and only made the briefest of flights away from any dog that approached them. I was reminded of how wary curlews used to be. When I started bird watching most curlews had been shot at, at some time during their lives – curlews were still on the quarry list for hunters right up until 1981when the Wildlife and Countryside Act of that year put in place a lot of the species protection that we take for granted as common sense today. Curlews live a long time and even at the end of the’80s there were many curlew about that would take flight hundreds of meters away from an approaching person. The widlfowlers who waxed lyrical at the time about the loss of their wonderful sport of outwitting curlews on lonely mudflats perhaps didn’t realise that their sport was at the expense of all of us. They might have shot just a relative handful, but they trained every curlew in Britain to shun humans. Now we can all admire these wonderful birds close up, making many of us happy rather than just a few, and quite a lot of curlews too I should think.

A curlew feeding happily on a piece of grassland

A curlew feeding happily on a piece of grassland

Posted December 4, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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