Colour-ringed Curlew and Curlew Recoveries

EDRG, working in conjunction with a very keen landowner, has commenced a project to colour-ring wintering and breeding Curlew on the Wensleydale Moors.

November 2017

David Bakewell, when visiting Ireland re-sighted and photographed ‘NO RW’ (Left leg Niger, Orange, Right leg Red, White) at Roscarberry, Co Cork on 5th September 2017. This adult male (born prior to 2015) was one of 20 ringed on 16 January 2016 on Wensley Ings, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. 18 of the birds have been re-sighted during the winter 2016/17. ‘NO RW’ is one of the two birds that wasn’t seen until now, presumably because it had wintered in Ireland.

NO RW Roscarberry Sept 2017 II

Curlew Co Cork.jpg

A large proportion of Curlew that breed in the Pennines winter in Ireland. Autumn and wintering populations in northern Britain originate from breeding grounds in Scandinavia (mostly Finland and Sweden according to colour-ring sightings). Two of the Wensleydale colour-ringed birds have subsequently been seen during Autumn passage on the Tees Estuary to then be seen back in Wensleydale that winter. See below.

October 2017

Curlew FH87191 : Left. Niger, Yellow : Right. Red, Orange was ringed on 16 January 2016 in Wensleydale was recently re-sighted at Bolton Hall, close to the original ringing site on 20 October 2017.

September 2016

Good numbers of adult colour-ringed Curlew ringed in Wensleydale on 16 January 2016 have recently been re-sighted in the locality. One has since been proved to be a local breeding adult. The question is, where are the rest breeding? Scandinavia perhaps! The wintering flock is already building, so hopefully thee will be chance to colour ring more this autumn and winter.

Here is a list of those birds which were re-sighted at Bolton Hall, Wensley. All birds have an identifying Nosterfield/Wensleydale scheme White Tall colour ring below the left knee. All other rings fitted are above the knees and identify each individual Curlew. The sequences below only identify these ‘above the knee’ colour rings.

FH87101 : Left. Lime, Niger : Right. White, Green – seen 31 August 2016

FH87192 : Left. Niger, Yellow : Right. White, Green – seen on 22 and 31 August 2016

FH87195 : Left. Niger, Green : Right. Red, Green – seen on 22 August 2016

FH87196 : 2nd year bird (5) : Left. Niger, Green : Right. Red, Orange seen 22 and 31 August

FA29263 : Left. Niger, Red : Right. Red, Orange – seen on 31 August 2016

FA29264 : Left. Niger, Red : Right. White, Green – seen on 22 and 31 August 2016

FA29265 : Left. Niger, White : Right. Red, White – seen on 22 August 2016

FA29268 : Left. Niger, White : Right. White, Green – seen on 22 and 31 August

July 2016

Two adult colour ringed Curlew, both ringed on 27 February 2016, were sighted at Seal Sands, some 59 kilometres east of where these birds were ringed. It is possible that these two birds actually bred in Scandinavia and are returning to the UK (Wensleydale) for the winter.  Currently, until we receive reports from Scandinavia, we cannot completely verify this.

Curlew FH87109 colour rings : Left below the knee WT (White tall signifying the identifier for birds from the Nosterfield/Wensleydale scheme), Left above the knee G,N, (Green, Niger) Right above the knee G,N.

Curlew FH87111, colour rings : Left below the knee WT, Left above the knee W,N, (White, Niger) Right above the knee G,N were seen on the 30 July 2016.

If you see these or any other colour ringed Curlew, please tweet @JillWarwick or @EDRInging or leave a comment on this web page.

Curlew Seal Sands.jpg

Below, as in a previous post, are the first two Curlew chicks hatched on the Wensleydale Moors, to be colour ringed.


During the summer, nine curlew chicks were caught and ringed on the Wensleydale Moors , five of which were also been colour-ringed.

If you see any of the birds at any time, please tweet @JillWarwick with information or leave a comment on this page. The Green, Red on the right leg is a “constant”, the colours on the left leg change for each bird. Note that all birds have the Tall White (WT) colour below the left knee as described above.


Curlew FA57945

Curlew 2

Ringed as a nestling on 31 May 1994 at Embsay Moor, North Yorkshire FA57945 was seen again at Low Bishopside, North Yorkshire, only 20km (12 miles) away from its original ringing site but some 22 years later on on 25 March 2016!

Curlew Embsay.jpg






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