Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Stone-curlew, photo © David Kjaer
Our first stone-curlew of the year has returned to the release enclosure today, coinciding with some beautiful spring sunshine. It was spotted on a morning visit to the site. We assume it is the same male which has been breeding in the enclosure for the last five years, although only its partner is ringed so we cannot be sure. Hopefully the female will also return soon - she hatched in 2001 on Salisbury Plain, and the normal life expectancy of a stone-curlew is only about 10 years. Besides the stone-curlew, we saw our first wheatear yesterday, and the male bustards are displaying occasionally every day. The best time of year to visit Salisbury Plain is just starting.
Update, 27th March: We do now have a pair of stone-curlews, and it is in fact a new female which has joined the male. Its colour rings mean we can say that it hatched in 2009, about six miles from our release site.