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A bubbly spring whistle enlivened my morning walk this week - the first time that I have heard a curlew's call so early in the year. The curlew curlew (kûr`l), common name for large shore birds of both hemispheres, generally brown and buff in color and with decurved bills.  is the symbol on Northumberland national park Northumberland National Park is the northernmost national park in England. It covers an area of more than 1030 km² between the Scottish Border in the north to just south of Hadrian's Wall.It is one of the least populated and least visited of the National Parks.  noticeboards, but unfortunately there has been a decline in its numbers here recently. I learned early from my father to recognise curlews by their distinctive wingspan and curved bill, and he told me the call of this bird was, for shepherds, the first welcome sound that winter was on the way out. Soon after curlews come wheatears, but they do not tend to move up to their territories in the hills like the curlew does. Cock curlews are the first to arrive and establish territories, and tend to return every spring to the same area. Our changing climate, with warmer winter months, may be bringing them back to nest here too early, where they may be being disturbed by controlled heather burning or the heavy rain we have had on moorland moor·land  
n.
Land consisting of moors.


moorland
Noun

Brit an area of moor

Noun 1.
.

Curlews have now been placed on the red list by Birdlife International. The RSPB RSPB n abbr (Brit) (= Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) → LPO f

RSPB (Brit) n abbr (= Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) →
 is working with land managers and other organisations to offer advice that will benefit these birds. The incubation period for curlews is about a month, and both parents share the duty of sitting on the nest. I remember one memorable occasion when I - or rather my dachshund dachshund (dăks`hnd, –ənd, dăsh`–), breed of small, short-legged hound developed in Germany over hundreds of years. It stands from 5 to 9 in.  - came upon a brood of young curlews, a family of small downy down·y  
adj. down·i·er, down·i·est
1. Made of or covered with down.

2.
a. Resembling down: downy white clouds.

b. Quietly soothing; soft.

Adj.
 bundles that bounced up and down to greet us, but were clearly not as nimble on their legs as young partridge and pheasants at their age are. I collected the dog, much to her disappointment, and we quickly retreated. I used to see curlews on our seashore, searching for crabs and other molluscs among the rock pools and seaweed, but I have not seen any recently on the coast. Unfortunately, carrion crows are partial to a nest of curlew eggs.
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Author:guardian.co.uk
Publication:guardian.co.uk
Date:Jun 13, 2008
Words:321
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