Where are the 2021 and 2022 Curlew?

A typical view and photo submission from a birding member of the public who resighted a 2022 headstarted Norfolk Curlew. Anyone who resights a bird from the project receives a history of that individual. © Bill Dennis

As of May 2023, 37 of the 116 birds released so far have been seen at least once. Of those sightings, most have been around the Wash, particularly in winter when the young Curlew have joined the flocks of wild adults that winter here. However some have been seen further afield, including the Exe Estuary in Devon (‘4P’ released in 2021) and Guernsey in the Channel Islands (‘8H’ released in 2022).

A headstarted Curlew being GPS tagged.
A headstarted Curlew being GPS tagged. © Sam Franks / BTO
The migration route of Nemo ('6Y') from the Wash to southern Ireland.
The migration route of Nemo (‘6Y’) from the Wash to southern Ireland. © Sam Franks / BTO

Excitingly, the single GPS tagged bird still wearing her tag from 2021 (‘0E’) has recently transmitted from Breckland in Norfolk, an area with a known breeding population of approximately 150 Curlew pairs. While we think this bird has lost the aerial on her tag, meaning she only transmits locations occasionally, it’s thrilling to see that she has joined a nearby breeding population after spending most of her first 18 months of life on the south shore of the Wash.