This post is for Wild Bird Wednesday.They're back! The shorebirds that is! Of course, these are just the first to arrive but I always think these ones are the promise that the rest of them will be here soon!
Eastern Curlews (Numenius madagascariensis) are always the first to arrive and over the last week or so their numbers have been increasing. They breed in Russia and NE China but my bird book says their distribution there is "poorly known". They are the largest migratory shorebird that we see around here and their very long down-curved bill makes them easy to recognize. They are not easy to get close to. I have been told that a bird as large as this has formerly been regarded as good eating in some of the countries along the flyway from the northern hemisphere.
I saw these ones out at Inskip Point at the end of last week. They were strung out along the waterline where some were sleeping but others were preening with that incredibly long bill. The three Godwits that I saw roosting with them looked small in comparison. There were a couple of vehicles and some other people there at the same time and suddenly the Curlews decided it was all too crowded and they took off for the sand island.