This new paper, published on World Curlew Day on 21 April 2022, describes the current and historical status of the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in an area of 1200 square kilometres centred on Banbury.   Click here to link to the paper

Curlews have consistently bred in three principal areas – the Middle Cherwell Valley, North Cherwell Valley, and south Warwickshire. Curlews from these areas also roost communally, especially during June, at Balscote Quarry Nature Reserve. 

Sadly, the population has declined steadily in recent years and in the Middle Cherwell this has been particularly marked - reducing from four pairs (2005 to 2011) to one pair (2018 to 2021).  Data on habitat in the three areas are presented and known changes in habitat extent and quality are described. Factors likely to be causing Curlew declines are presented and the actions needed to reverse the decline are suggested. 

Unless effective conservation measures can be deployed urgently, local extinction in the next ten to twenty years is likely. If all three areas were predominantly managed in a highly favourable way for Curlew (a mosaic of hay meadows and pasture that is mostly grazed at moderate levels), and effective protection from predation is in place, these ‘Curlew Landscapes’ could support at least 15 -20 pairs of Curlews.
A shorter version of this paper was also published in the BOS Annual Report 2020.

Mike Pollard, BOS Conservation Officer, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thermal Birding with Ben Dolan

West Midlands Ringing Group pioneered thermal technology for bird surveys, winning the BTO Marsh Ward in 2021 for innovative technology.  The WMRG believe necessity drives innovation and this resulted in the revolutionary development of thermal imaging technology within ornithology.   Read more ...

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