The Curlew(Numenius arquata) is a very large, tall wader, Length: 50-60cm Wingspan: 90cm Weight: 770-1,000g Average Lifespan: 5 years, about the same size as a female pheasant. The haunting sound of the curlew's display call ('Cur-lee') is unmistakable and can be heard from February through to July on its breeding grounds: wet grasslands, farmland, heath and moorlands. From July onwards coastal numbers start to build up and peak in January. It feeds mainly on worms, shrimps and small shellfish.
It is mottled brown and grey with long, bluish legs and a long, down-curved bill that is pink underneath. It can be distinguished from the smaller whimbrel by the longer bill and plain head pattern. When they fly, curlew have a white wedge on the rump.
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species(not quite endangered) under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Taken on the South Coast yesterday, 79.9m from subject, handheld.