Thursday 3 February 2011: Tug of lug
A curlew pulls out a lugworm, Sandside, Cumbria
I stopped at my usual place on the way to the office, and watched this curlew working its way round a muddy spit in the Kent Estuary. Within about 5 minutes it had extracted 4 lugworms from the mud. The sediments of the Kent, unlike the mudflats out in Morecambe Bay, are not enormously rich in invertebrates, and consequently we don't have huge flocks of waders feeding.
However, there are always a few curlews scattered about, and there's almost always one feeding at this spot. Is there something about the nature of the sediments here that favours lugworms? Is it the same bird every day? And how many lugworms does a curlew need each day? The great thing about natural history is there's always more to find out.