Curlew Monitoring Volunteer

Location: Herefordshire (County Wide), Herefordshire

WildNet - Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

Can you help us protect Herefordshire’s Curlews?
Fieldwork starts at the end of March and can be fairly intensive throughout April and early May by which time birds should have selected their nest site, laid eggs and (hopefully!) revealed their nest location. We are looking for people who would be prepared to undertake this fieldwork. Observers need to be patient and be ready to devote several hours at a time in order to achieve results but the work could be shared between two or more people.

Position details

Duration

-

Commitment

Any Day

Frequency

Weekly

Contact details

Project leader Chris Robinson herefordbtorep@btinternet.com or James Hitchcock j.hitchcock@herefordshirewt.co.uk

The Curlew is an iconic bird of our countryside which is in serious decline throughout the country. There has been a national loss of over 50% in the past 25 years and in lowland areas it is even worse.  A bird which 60 years ago in Herefordshire was described as “common and widespread” now has less than 20 breeding pairs and in 2019 out of 19 identified nest sites only one young was known to have survived to fledging.

Herefordshire Ornithological Club, supported by Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, is running a project to protect our remaining Curlews and is working with landowners; monitoring breeding effort and protecting nests and young from predation or agricultural disturbance. The hardest part of this work is locating nest sites! Due to the Curlew’s secretive behaviour during the nesting period it can take many hours of patient fieldwork before a nest is located and our workforce is very thinly spread. Can you help us protect Herefordshire’s Curlews?

Fieldwork starts at the end of March and can be fairly intensive throughout April and early May by which time birds should have selected their nest site, laid eggs and (hopefully!) revealed their nest location. Nest sites are located through a combination of watching (both for presence and behaviour), listening and patience! Once the suspected nest area is identified, its exact location can be determined by careful observation but this often takes time owing to the secretive nature of the bird.

We are looking for people who would be prepared to undertake this fieldwork. Observers need to be patient and be ready to devote several hours at a time in order to achieve results but the work could be shared between two or more people. A training course will be given to all volunteers and ongoing help will be provided either directly from experienced watchers or via our WhatsApp group.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to assist or want to know more please get in touch with the project leader Chris Robinson herefordbtorep@btinternet.com or James Hitchcock j.hitchcock@herefordshirewt.co.uk