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TITLE
Curlews and Whimbrels, Outer Hebrides
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_PETERCUNNINGHAM_05
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Peter Cunningham
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2155
KEYWORDS
ornithology
Outer Hebrides
audio

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In this audio extract, Hebridean ornithologist Peter Cunningham talks about birds found in the Outer Hebrides.

Interviewer: Is the curlew quite a common bird in Lewis or do - ?

No, its -

Interviewer: Are there more dunlin around than curlew?

No, it's the commonest, a common enough bird except in the breeding season. The first curlew breeding in the Outer Hebrides occurred only a few years ago and now there's perhaps twenty pairs in the whole of the Outer Hebrides and last year they were discovered breeding in North Uist for the first time. The bird associated with them, the whimbrel, is also very scarce, in fact, even scarcer and is only been known to breed twice in Lewis.

Interviewer: Well, let's listen now to a recording of a whimbrel that I made last year at the Balranald Nature Reserve [North Uist]. This one was just flying overhead with our corn bunting friend perhaps can be heard too. [Whimbrel calls]. It's the most evocative sound, isn't it?

Yes, indeed. So seldom heard in this part of the world that I get excited every time I hear one. And, in fact, that was the case when I first discovered them breeding. The male bird was circling me anxiously calling with that distinctive call and I, by mere chance, happened to pick up the female with two young in my glasses about two hundred yards away on the moor and that was the first recorded breeding on the Outer Hebrides. They do arrive in May in this island; they're called, in Gaelic, the 'birds of Beltane' which is, of course, a May festival and we normally expect to find them here from May onwards

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Curlews and Whimbrels, Outer Hebrides

1980s; 1990s

ornithology; Outer Hebrides; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Bird Watching

In this audio extract, Hebridean ornithologist Peter Cunningham talks about birds found in the Outer Hebrides. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Is the curlew quite a common bird in Lewis or do - ? <br /> <br /> No, its - <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Are there more dunlin around than curlew?<br /> <br /> No, it's the commonest, a common enough bird except in the breeding season. The first curlew breeding in the Outer Hebrides occurred only a few years ago and now there's perhaps twenty pairs in the whole of the Outer Hebrides and last year they were discovered breeding in North Uist for the first time. The bird associated with them, the whimbrel, is also very scarce, in fact, even scarcer and is only been known to breed twice in Lewis.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Well, let's listen now to a recording of a whimbrel that I made last year at the Balranald Nature Reserve [North Uist]. This one was just flying overhead with our corn bunting friend perhaps can be heard too. [Whimbrel calls]. It's the most evocative sound, isn't it?<br /> <br /> Yes, indeed. So seldom heard in this part of the world that I get excited every time I hear one. And, in fact, that was the case when I first discovered them breeding. The male bird was circling me anxiously calling with that distinctive call and I, by mere chance, happened to pick up the female with two young in my glasses about two hundred yards away on the moor and that was the first recorded breeding on the Outer Hebrides. They do arrive in May in this island; they're called, in Gaelic, the 'birds of Beltane' which is, of course, a May festival and we normally expect to find them here from May onwards