Friday 1 May 2020

Lockdown Day 39 - Curlew

Today it was another cycle ride and with showers forecast (but yet to transpire at time of writing!) I decided to get a few miles in before any rain came.

Over the past couple of weeks, two Curlew (Numenius arquatahave been present in fields around a little village called Catterton near where I live. One of the things I like about them is the haunting calls they make, they remind me of wild open moorland and hills, which is where a lot of them hang out for breeding in summer.

However, this pair seem to have stuck around - I expected when I saw them a fortnight ago that they would carry on migrating up the Wharfe Valley to the Yorkshire Dales.

This individual today, probably one of the pair I saw a few minutes previously, was working its way over the field, probing its long beak into the ground in search of worms and other invertebrates. Their main distinguishing feature, a really long curved beak, is ideal for searching the ground for these, and when you see curlew at the seaside, they will use this beak to search out molluscs in amongst rock pools.

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