Mary Colwell’s response to Amy-Jane Beer from Castle Howard

Amy - thank you for your post, and for letting us hear the call of curlews in the background. I have to say I had a short sob when they called through the mist. I attended a meeting of the Curlew Forum last night - an informal gathering of the lowland curlew groups in southern England. Together they look after around 400 pairs below Birmingham. Some of the stats made my heart break. 100 nests in Northern Shropshire, only 1 nest fledged in 2020. Only a maximum of 5 pairs left in North Wilts. Fewer than 5 pairs in Worcestershire. One pair in Rutland have produced one chick in 12 years. Only 1 pair left on Dartmoor - that region has produced 3 chicks in 20 years. These beautiful birds live a long time, they keep coming back, they keep failing. You are right. One day they will not come back and the spring air will be silent.