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Curlew with unusually short bill

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Joined: 18 Mar 2012, 09:43

Curlew with unusually short bill

Post by BrianR » 21 Sep 2015, 22:39

This morning Tony managed to obtain some record shots of a Curlew with a very short bill near the Butt of Lewis lighthouse. This bird was first seen in flight along the cliffs west of the lighthouse on Thursday. Photos show bill is only half the length of a normal Curlews bill and only very slightly decurved.

This is very unusual but I have notes somewhere of a bird that several observers saw in Somerset many years ago with an exceptionally short bill. Here the only other wader species that I can recall with an abnormally short bill mentioned in our bird reports was that of a Woodcock shot in Ben Risary plantation in 2009. This malformation appears to occur more often in this species as Birds of the Western Palearctic mentions Woodcock with short bills having been recorded in several countries.

Otherwise Tony mentions very quiet again today at Ness and still 30 Snow Buntings by the pool near the lighthouse.

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