Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A Serendipitous Sighting

We stopped on the side of the road by a ploughed field to watch a plump pair of Partridges shuffle like Hercule Poirot across the furrows. Then we realised that something much more uncommon was glaring at us with its yellow eye.
A pair of Stone Curlews, totally camoflaged until they moved, was in the field. We could not ascertain if they had a nest, but it is quite likely they did.

These birds are not related to true Curlews, and some ornithologists prefer to call them Thick-knees. They are largely nocturnal, and have an eerie wailing call, reminiscent of the Curlew. I've never heard them calling in Europe, but have heard their Australian Bush cousins a number of times.


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