Last year The Grosvenor Estate tagged six curlew that were nesting on the fells around Abbeystead/Dunsop Bridge. We were very lucky to be given a female to name and the children drew a picture of her and came up with name suggestions. His Grace, The Duke of Westminster, judged the drawings and chose Giles Geisselmann's entry. So, our curlew is called Bella and in August she took flight and headed across The Irish Channel and has made her winter-feeding ground just across the border in Southern Ireland. This map shows her movements last week. We are hoping to make links with a local primary school in the area to tell them all about Bella and where she goes in the summer on her holidays!
As you all know we are an Ambassador School for curlew and we have been very fortunate to have taken part in lots of curlew events this year. The Grosvenor Estate, in Abbeystead, have been very busy this spring working with Andrew Hoodless, one of the few licenced bird taggers in the UK. They successfully caught and tagged four birds and fitted trackers to them. These trackers, which send regular location data, stay on the birds for up to 2 years. This means we will be able to follow where the curlew fly off to once they leave our fells.
We have been very lucky to have been given the honour of choosing the name for one of these birds, a female nesting at Greenside, Abbeystead. This week all the children drew a picture of her and wrote their name suggestions. These pictures will hopefully be judged by His Grace, The Duke of Westminster and the winner will have the privilege of naming our bird.
Keep an eye out on our school Blog for all the latest of where our bird has been!
As an ambassador school for Curlew Action, we are very proud of all the work our children have done at Thorneyholme to raise awareness of the plight of this red-listed bird.
Our ‘Case for the Curlew’ was shown at a meet at Sunderland Point, along with a talk from five junior pupils to members of The Curlew Action Group and approximately 100 children from Rylands and Overton Primary schools. Ryelands and Overton – the coastal ambassador schools, also shared their work. We look forward to working closely with them in the future. Our ‘Case’ is displayed in the front porch if anyone wants to come and have a look. Inside it are 3D model crafts and drawers filled with poetry, Curlew eggs, the sounds of the curlew and much more…
The juniors set up a square kilometer zone, ready for a bird count in April/May time. They were joined by Grosvenor Estate workers Rob & Helen, the Duchy Gamekeeper Scott and Steph Smith Ambassador for Curlew Action. Children learnt about bird counting techniques; they looked at data since 1990 and discussed how there needs to be a balance between agricultural land and land suitable for curlews to live and breed. All the team recorded the square kilometre zone by marking every 200 metres with GPS.