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Author Topic: The Call of the Curlew  (Read 5541 times)

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2020, 08:17:12 pm »
My daughter is hoping to study Ecology at university in September.




Where are you based?
280m, near Inverness.

Do you hear them? Yes

Do you see them? Yes

Do they nest successfully near you? Yes

How have their numbers changed in your area? There are good years and bad years but over the last 10 years I'd say numbers have been fairly static.

If they've declined .... Why do you thing this is? What are the contributing factors do you think? Predators? Land use? Farm management? Leisure activities?
What do we need to do to help them keep going?

Most land for miles around is primarily managed for shooting.  As a result there are very few predators ( for years we never shut chickens in and only once lost one to a stoat (any fox, stoat, pine Martin or cat is unlikely to survive long)) that's bound to help ground nesting birds like curlews.
On the other hand the number of pheasants has to have an effect on wildlife.  There is no doubt at all that the reason we no longer get black grouse is because they were crowded out and out-competed by pheasants.  Pheasants are not such direct competitors with curlew but I wouldn't be surprised if there is an impact.

The other big impact has to be the making of silage instead of hay (making hay here is too unreliable so it is all silage).  It means fields are mowed earlier in the year before ground nesters have had a chance.

Thanks ........

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2020, 04:35:16 pm »
Interesting thought Oor Wullie ....... We are on the edge of a huge shoot here. So many pheasants ...... you wouldn't believe it!


I wonder if they do 'compete'???????

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2020, 09:40:29 am »
When we arrived here (9 years ago) black grouse lekked in our field.  Cock pheasants would crowd around the black cock (often 20 to 1) and not let him do his stuff and so I suspect they struggled to mate and died off as no new generations were produced.

The pheasants must strip all the food resources too (otherwise why would the local estate have to put out tons (literally) of pheasant food).

Absolutely no doubt that they have a huge impact on certain wildlife that they directly compete with however, curlews are waders and so utilise a different food resource from pheasants and so I guess that their impact on curlews is not so significant.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2020, 12:36:05 pm »
I am really enjoying finding out more about curlew.  I watch the curlew cam for a while each day.  I observed the female calling quietly from the nest and after a while there was a reply, she flew straight from the nest and a couple of minutes later the male arrived through the grass to brood.  Once settled on the nest he gave a couple of calls too, presumably to let his mate know all was well.  Yesterday a human hand and arm suddenly appeared at the (then empty) nest, plucking out some blades of grass and squashing down the foliage to give the camera the best view.  I had previously wondered how the troublesome and rapidly growing docken had magically vanished.  I hope that by visiting the nest in this way, people are not showing predators the way to the nest.
Did you ever get a reply @in the hills about when the chicks are due to hatch?
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: This year's swallows
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2020, 01:57:03 pm »
Fleecewife, sorry, you must have missed my reply to you. I don't know how you tag someone into the posts on here so you wouldn't have received a notification.
But yes,  CurlewCountry did reply,  and they think that the eggs are due to hatch during the first week of June. Not too long now!


We have read that there is some doubt about the success associated with using electric fencing around nests because although it helps to protect against mammalian predators it has the opposite effect where corvids are concerned as they are attracted to the new fencing.


The curlew population of Wales has apparently fallen by 80% in the last decade or so. Shocking!


We heard and spotted another Curlew last night. In a different area to our other pair.


Glad you're enjoying finding out about them too, FW. Let us know what you discover!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2020, 12:12:56 am »
To tag someone, click @ followed by their name (no gap).  A drop box appears so you can choose the person and it appears as brown and underlined in the text, then the person gets a notification.


80% lost in just ten years - that is horrifying, but I can believe it after our experiences here.  My heart is in my mouth for the pair on the curlewcam, especially at night. I fear a close-up view of a fox or badger, then a totally empty nest.  Two years ago on the osprey cam at Loch Arkaig, we watched in horror as a pine marten appeared in the nest one night, scared off the female osprey, then one after the other made off with the three half incubated eggs. So that was a failed breeding season for them. (they have since bred successfully and the tree is now protected against pine martens )       
It's great that you have now heard and seen a second curlew calling.


I shall be watching the nest cam avidly next week.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2020, 01:29:31 pm »
Just had a look, poor thing looks to be struggling with the heat  :(

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2020, 02:36:43 pm »
@Penninehillbilly and @Penninehillbilly ....... Yes, she seems rather hot under the collar. If you have a look on the CurlewCountry website and go to their blog they've added a post about this very subject.


Thank you, Fleecewife. I've followed your instructions. Hope that it's worked! I have no patience with computer stuff!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2020, 12:35:07 pm »
I checked in with the camera a bit before noon today.  Male on nest gave the quiet call for his mate to come, repeated a couple of times.  She appeared by the nest but he did not fly away as usual.  The pair of them spent 5 or 10 minutes watching the sky and seeming to be quite worried, presumably about an aerial predator.  Eventually the male left, but instead of flying straight from the nest, he crept away through the undergrowth. The female on the nest has continued to watch the sky.
My heart is in my mouth watching this pair:  Will their eggs survive to hatch?  Will the chicks survive their first few days and their first year?
The Loch Arkaig Ospreys have just hatched their second chick.  One more to go  :fc:
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2020, 04:08:42 pm »
@Fleecewife ...... They're peeping!


Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2020, 05:08:24 pm »
Good and Bad.....
Now the worrying REALLY starts.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2020, 10:09:06 pm »
I couldn't see...will they leave the nest once they hatch, or do they hang around for a while all together?
Perhaps they'll hatch tomorrow  :excited:
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Recruiting now - please send border-guard applications to ...
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2020, 12:54:13 am »
She/he didn't seem to be too bothered by a helicopter passing nearby at this late (or should that be early) hour ! 
(I'm not sure why I'm still up - I'm about to hit the pillow now though!)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2020, 10:26:32 am »
It looks as if one egg is partly hatched  8)


The adults look pretty bedraggled in the RAIN!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 10:32:08 am by Fleecewife »
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: The Call of the Curlew
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2020, 12:09:32 pm »
My daughter has been watching all morning.
Definitely one fully hatched chick but think there could well be a second at the back of the nest.
Empty shell clearly visible at the front of the shot.


Think they are independent very quickly, Fleecewife, and disperse from the nest searching for their own food. We will see.
Fingers crossed for them! Survival rate there has been very poor in past years, I believe.

 

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by oor wullie

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