Old bird amazes Tees Valley wildlife watchers - RSPB

09th February 2012
Old bird amazes Tees Valley wildlife watchers - RSPB
The curlew was caught and fitted with an identification ring way back in March 1992 at Seal Sands.
The passing years certainly aren’t slowing down a curlew that’s once more amazing wildlife watchers on the Tees Estuary.
The bird, which was caught and fitted with an identification ring way back in March 1992 at Seal Sands, has once again been seen at its favourite autumn and winter haunts on the Tees marshes and mudflats.
A dozen times since 1997, it has been recorded in the area – and this year, it’s back again, never having been recorded anywhere else in its lifetime.
Toby Collett, a warden at Saltholme, the wildlife reserve and discovery park near Stockton, said: “Curlews are always on the move. They are usually on the estuary mud at low tide, but are chased up the shoreline as the tide comes in.
“This bird, which we think was an adult when it was ringed, making it into its 20s now, often then calls in at Saltholme, where it feeds on worms and insects on our grassland. We have put a lot of effort into making sure our grassland appeals to all sorts of wildlife – and it would appear that this curlew certainly appreciates our efforts.
“Most curlews only live about five years, so it seems this old chap – or lady – is still finding the Tees a wonderful place to spend its twilight years.”