Well, it happened. After too many moments agonising whether my first curlew encounter of the year should be a planned affair or just left to chance, the inevitability of the latter occurred. An evening walk over Eastfields, Burley in Wharfedale, leading an organised owl walk.

Four, five, six. Flying North West at dusk. A seemingly small group for this time of year, around here at least. At a glance, all beaks within the group appeared relatively small. Possible youngsters? Possibly males? Definitely not whimbrel.


As the walk progressed the light faded to contrastless hues of cyan. Passing through an intensively grazed field, what first looked like small clumps of mud began to move. Panning from left to right, maybe around a hundred, an incredible number of redwings. Surely some fieldfares too, but the diminishing light and distance made any present indistinguishable. 


The walk ended with a lovely, little owl encounter but despite hoping for an early evening flyover, no more curlew.

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