Thirty Something

Stone Curlews are habitually sociable birds. We are used to seeing them in pairs or littered sparsely across heaths. They are part and parcel of our Breckland landscape in Norfolk; their eerie call resounding out around the fields on moonlit nights. Like some other birds such as Hirrundines and Ducks they accumulate into large flocks prior to migrating.

We ventured into south Norfolk the other day to find such a flock. After staring at fields in all manner of likely places one or two Stone Curlews suddenly materialised among a Sugar Beet crop. No sooner had we seen these then others appeared as if from nowhere. Two, four, eight, ten and so it went on. We ended up in the mid thirties in this tight little group. Undoubtedly there were more we couldn’t see. The majority will no doubt stay for another few weeks until early November when they will fly south to southern Europe and North Africa. A few may stay to sit out the winter … if it’s a mild one.

Click to enlarge

2 Responses to “Thirty Something”

  1. 1 Ian Gordon
    Sep 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I’m amazed, remembering how hard we had to work to find a single bird. I would love to have seen this. Nice one Carl.

    • Sep 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      The trouble is Ian, these gatherings are regular at this time of the year; however they are not always in the same place and the birds can be difficult to find. They are an amazing bird aren’t they? Someone suggested to me this week they are like old women with handbags – looking at their hunched pose I can see what he meant.
      As I always say Ian, when we go out on tour we have to expect anything!

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Sep 2012


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