Curlews

Welsh Ornithological Society

The last all Wales Curlew survey was in 2006 and estimated a breeding population of 1,100 pairs. This represented a dramatic decline of 81% since 1993. Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate that the breeding population of Curlew in Wales is declining at a rate of around 5% per year. Given this decline it is important we know where our remaining Curlews are so that we can target conservation work and engage with landowners who support curlew. WOS supports Curlew conservation projects through its partnership with Gylfinor Cymru and urges members and birders throughout Wales to support these.

In 2021 WOS asked for breeding season records of Curlew from across Wales and Gwent OS carried out a more detailed survey. We would like to receive breeding season records for 2022 as well, please. All records are valuable, and at a minimum just one sighting can help us target further surveys. To make it more valuable the following information (as much as you can provide) would help:

  • Date and location (nearest identifiable place name and County), preferably with a Grid Reference (See https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/beginners-guide-to-grid-references/).
  • Number of birds.
  • Behaviour – is there anything to indicate breeding? This could include regular sightings in one area or birds alarm calling: ‘Normal’ alarm call (at start of recording): http://www.xeno-canto.org/200085 or “Yak-yak” alarm call probably indicating chicks: http://www.xeno-canto.org/107495.
  • Any chicks seen? (later in season)
  • Habitat – a brief description of the habitat such as Rough Grassland; Grazed Field; Sileage field; Bog etc. Please mention if stock are present – sheep or cattle.
  • Any other information that you think might be useful.

Please send any records to your County Recorder and to curlews@birdsin.wales. Please try and avoid disturbing birds while recording. All records will be passed on to national recording schemes and county bird recorders.

Please also look out for colour-ringed Curlews – see panel below – and support World Curlew Day.

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