Curlew (Numenius arquata)
N. arquata is our largest wader and probably the easiest to identify, being long-legged and with a long down-curved bill and evocative bubbling call. It can really only be confused with the more compact, stripe-headed Whimbrel.
Although the Curlew no longer breeds in the county, last breeding on Ashdown Forest in 1991, Sussex remains an important migration stop and wintering destination. Their breeding range has now contracted away from most of lowland Britain, although a few non-breeding birds still spend the summer in Sussex, usually on the coast.
A bird who’s beautiful voice embodies the atmosphere of the lonely marshes and high moorland where it is found …
Barfield, C. (2014). Curlew. The Birds of Sussex. Thetford: British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Books on behalf of the Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 276-277.
Nobbs, J. (1996). Curlew. Birds of Sussex. Sussex Ornithological Society, pp. 278-281.