Curlews at Thursley
I was walking at Thursley yesterday and saw what looked like a curlew. As I’ve said before, Thursley is the only regular inland breeding site for curlews in Surrey, as far as I know. I was surprised to see it as I assumed they didn’t return from the coastal esturies where they overwinter until later in the spring. I checked with the warden, though, and they do return in February. I watched it glide past me and land some distance away, and checked the curlew page on the RSPB website on my phone (they look very similar to the whimbrel). Just because I love the evocative sound, I played the audio recording of a curlew’s call. If you’ve never heard a curlew, have a listen – it’s lovely.
Well the reaction was pretty immediate; the curlew took off and flew straight past me and off into the distance, making its own calls. A few minutes later I played the audio again (curious to see what would happen), and heard return calls from the other direction. The original curlew (I assume) then flew back past me and off in the direction of the calls. I’m pleased that I managed to get a photograph of it, as my camera is pretty inadequate for getting bird pictures.