STONE CURLEW

Eurasian Stone Curlew, a female returns to her nest

EURASIAN STONE CURLEW IS ONE OF TEN SPECIES OF STONE CURLEWS scattered across the planet and has been one of my favourites since I first saw it on Weeting Heath in Suffolk more than 30 years ago. The night air of the Lleida Plains is filled by their demented wailing calls and although they are common here they are surprisingly unobtrusive during the day. We were privileged to be able to photograph a pair at their nest from a small and very hot canvas photo hide. It was wonderful to watch the adults changing over, while at the same time worrying that every time someone walked, rode a bicycle or drove a vehicle past their nest the sitting bird would scurry off for a few minutes. Interestingly the slightly smaller and neater female was much more attentive than the male, which usually nodded off during his incubation shift. Nest hides are usually short-lived opportunities because, like many shorebirds, the young leave the nest within a day or so of the eggs hatching. A big thank you again to our partners Birding in Spain for this amazing experience.