Monday, 16 March 2015

A curlew sighting at last

In the summers of 2013 and 2014 we have been colour-ringing curlews in Aberdeenshire to look at brood survival and habitat use, as part of the RSPB's wider work locally in waders. On Orkney they have been doing similar and had lots of local sightings over the winter.
Curlew chicks in Donside (Jenny Weston)
We've not been so lucky and had a single sighting on the Ythan in August 2013 and a bird last summer in the non-breeding flock. A couple of weeks ago these got blown out the park by an email from Ireland of a chick ringed near Corgarff in Donside in June 2014 foraging on a sports field in Dublin! Many thanks to Conn O'Brien for passing this on to us through Birdwatch Ireland.
A curlew from Donside in Dublin (Conn O'Brien)
We had always thought that our lack of sightings and recoveries from curlew in the winter was because they were in very remote areas on the west coast of Scotland and Ireland, but it looks as though they are spending at least some of their winters on the football pitches of Dublin, in a slightly more urban setting than we previously thought!
Curlews in a slightly more urban setting than we're used to (Conn O'Brien)