Camlad Valley's

Curlew Surveys
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Bird Survey 2024

New helpers needed, please!

The Camlad Valley Community Wildlife Group has been monitoring local curlews, lapwings and other birds since 2014. We are planning on starting the 2024 survey at the end of March. We need more helpers, please, so if you have some time to spend monitoring the iconic birds in our area, we would be very pleased to hear from you.

The main target species are lapwing and curlew. If you can recognise these two birds (and preferably their calls), you can make an important contribution.

The area covered by the Group can be seen on the map here. It is divided into squares, each of 2 x 2 kilometres. Participants take on one of these survey squares and visit three times, on whichever specific dates suit them, around 1st April, 1st May and 15th June. Each visit should take about half a day, so it doesn’t take much time. It’s easy to do, and participants are provided with simple survey instructions and a map to record sightings on. If possible we’d also like you to record kestrel, cuckoo and other target species, but that’s an optional extra.

You can choose your own square, and do more than one if you want. However, we have to try and get all the squares covered, so it would be appreciated if you can be a bit flexible and tell me the rough area that you’d like to do, then let me choose the specific square for you.

You can find the survey report from 2023 here.

If you’re interested in helping, or want more information, please email me (

And please report any coloured rings seen on curlews!

There is also an appeal from the Curlew Country Team to report any sightings of curlews with colour rings.

Colour ringing is an important method to track and gather data about threatened bird species. Ornithologist Tony Cross has been working to colour ring Curlew for several years now, and he wants to hear about any sightings you may have. Even if you cannot read the ring yourself, knowing the location means someone with a telescope can be sent to take a closer look. This year is particularly important, as they are hoping that some of their headstarted Curlew (i.e. from eggs removed from nests and incubated away from the dangers of predation) will return.   
If you see a colour ringed curlew whilst out on your daily exercise, or in the course of helping with our annual survey, please report it to Tony Cross:
Rings are located just above the knee of the bird.
A colour ring appeal poster can be downloaded here. If you are able to print and put the poster up in any key places near you or pass it on to others then please do. The more people reached the higher chance we have of getting some reported  sightings!

What else can you do?

  • Make a note of any curlews you see or hear from your home, or while out taking your permitted exercise.
  • Ask other people you are in contact with locally to let you know if they see or hear curlews.
  • If you have to go out, to buy food or medicine, take your binoculars in your car with you so that you can stop and scan places where you might expect to see curlews.

What information should you record?

All records should indicate the number of curlews seen, their behaviour (feeding, in flight, nesting, display – bubbling – call, agitated call, chasing off crows, buzzards, etc.), and date and place.  If you have binoculars and can check for colour-rings, please report those too.

What should I do with the information?

Send it by email to Leo Smith – – who oversees the local curlew surveys.

Above all, though…

Stick to the guidance and instructions issued by HM’s Government to limit the spread of Covid-19 and keep all of us safe and well.