140 Curlews

I counted 140 Curlews on two mudbanks in the estuary near Devoran
today. That’s a huge increase on recent years, and suggests the curlew
population, and that of other wader birds, are well on the way to
fully recovering after the wildlife disaster that followed the closing
of the tin mine inland. The curlwes were mostly resting, but some were
feeding on small molluscs in the mud. Their downward curved beaks are
proportionately probably longer than that of a pelican, but narrow. In
order to swallow or crush the little periwinkle type univalves, they
were having to manipute the shell whole, right down the beak almost to
the head in order to get enough leverage.
We also saw two grey herons fighting over a small piece of fishing
territory, flocks of oystercatcher, redshanks and a family of buzzards