21st April is World Curlew day, after St Beuno their patron saint. Curlews are magical birds – they have inspired poetry and paintings and the gallery below gives a glimpse of some of these.
Mark Isherwood AM is the Curlew Species Champion in the Sennedd (Welsh Parliament) and he writes: “World Curlew Day on 21st April should act as a timely reminder that more than three-quarters of the Welsh (Eurasian) Curlew population has disappeared over the last 25 years. If this trend continues, country-level extinction of this iconic and magical bird is expected by 2030.
The Curlew is both an ecological umbrella species and culturally importance to people. As Wales Species Champion for the Curlew, I therefore recognise the urgent need to work with farmers and land managers to reverse the current decline, and to continue monitoring the status of breeding Curlew.
Current COVID-19 restrictions on non-essential movement mean that many fieldwork studies of breeding Curlews planned for this year have had to be cancelled. Please therefore keep your eyes and ears alert in your local area and enter all your records on to BirdTrack (see: https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/birdtrack/about) or send them to your Local Environmental Records Centre (LERC).”
If you’re not fortunate enough to see or hear a Curlew then feast your eyes on these paintings by Mark Boyd, Philip Snow and David Wettner – and listen to the podcasts on the curlewaction website and watch this beautiful short film narrated by David Gray.