Colour-ringed Curlew caught on camera

The Curlew pictured here was photographed at Goldcliff Lagoons this morning (8 October 2021) by Terry Winter. The bird is NBB (Black Blue Blue). If the left tarsus (below the knee) had been visible an orange ring over a white ring would have been seen – this is the marker for all birds marked on the Usk estuary in winter 2015/16.

This bird was originally ringed as an adult at Lighthouse Beach (St Brides) on 15 December 2015, metal ring FA95827. It was seen again at Lighthouse Beach in February 2017, then again, with more intensive observations by Chris Wells and Mike Smart in the last couple of winters, at Goldcliff in September and October 2020, then at Lighthouse Beach in November 2020, but not since. So this is the first observation of the current (2021/22) winter, showing that it has returned from wherever it breeds: we don’t know exactly where it does breed. We don’t know exactly how old it is either; it was ringed as an adult, but we have no idea of its age at the time of ringing – it could have been two, it could have been twenty. The record age for a Curlew is 32.