Thursday 17th March.
Red Breasted Merganser. The adult Red-breasted Merganser is 51–62 cm (20–24 in) long with a 70–86 cm (28–34 in) wingspan. It has a spiky crest and long thin red bill with serrated edges. The male has a dark head with a green sheen, a white neck with a rusty breast, a black back, and white underparts. Adult females have a rusty head and a greyish body. The juvenile is like the female, but lacks the white collar and has a smaller white wing patch.
Curlew (Numenius arquata).
Curlew (pronounced /ˈkɜrljuː/) is the common name for the bird genus Numenius, a group of eight wader species, characterised by a long slender downcurved bill and mainly brown plumage with little seasonal change. They are one of the most ancient lineages of scolopacid waders, together with the godwits which look similar but have straight bills. In Europe "Curlew" usually refers to one species, the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata.
Curlews feed on mud or very soft ground, searching for worms and other invertebrates with their long bills. They will also take crabs and similar items.
Curlews enjoy a world-wide distribution. Most species show strong migratory habits and consequently one or more species can be encountered at different times of the year in Europe, the British Isles, Iberia, Iceland, Africa, Southeast Asia, Siberia, North America, South America and Australasia.
The distribution of the curlew has altered considerably in the past one hundred years as a result of changing agricultural practices. Reclamation and drainage of marshy fields and mooreland, and afforestation of the latter, have led to local decreases, while conversion of forest to grassland in some parts of Scandinavia has led to increases there.