A colour-ringed Curlew has been re-sighted at the WWT Wetland Centre at Llanelli in the Burry Inlet, Carmarthenshire, south Wales. The bird was seen by Ed O’Connor on 12 September 2021, and was marked with a yellow ring with the letters IZ on its left tibia (above the ‘knee’) and a red-orange ring on its right tibia. It turns out that the bird was rather a special one.
It had originally been ringed as a wild chick in Shropshire by the Curlew Country project on 20 May 2017 – i.e. not one of those raised from eggs in an aviary, but raised in the wild by its parents. It had not been observed anywhere since then, so this was the first indication that it had actually fledged successfully. As noted in other postings on this website, very few wild chicks fledge from Shropshire, because of the pressure of predation, and early hay or silage cropping. This bird had been raised in a nest surrounded by an electric fence to protect it from predators, and the Curlew Country project made special arrangements with the farmer to give the field additional protection measures after hatching. The success of these measures only became apparent four years later!
The attached report from the British Trust for Ornithology’s Ringing Office shows the way the all-important details reach the original ringer and the observer who saw the bird in the wild.