Curlews are in serious decline across the UK. It’s probably because so much of the land is used for food production and our methods of farming have changed. In Orkney they are thankfully still widespread as a breeding bird and even more numerous in winter.
I’m sure all those flooded fields must bring out the worms for them. This one still has lots of mud stuck to its beak.
I first fell in love with Curlews in low cloud and mist when I heard their cries echoing strangely across the rain-soaked fields. Curlew are known as Whaup in Orkney and that’s exactly what they sound like when they call.