Oedicnemus on the Downs    

Stone curlew used to be fairly wide spread in Berkshire before the second world war, but as a result of the increase in land under cultivation during the war and the increase in vegetation growth after myxomatosis in the 1950s their population crashed

While in the 1930s there were post-breeding flocks of over 100 by the 1960s the largest flock was only 15

After the success of a project in East Anglia in 1985 the RSPB enlisted the help of landowners to create breeding sites on The Berkshire downs

"The Birds of Berkshire" notes that many of the birds fledged as part of the RSPB Wessex project are colour-ringed; so far the only ringed bird to be recovered was shot in France in 1991

The 2003 report mentions the RSPB survey as having recorded six breeding pairs and six juveniles - these results are consistent with records over the previous five or so years. The Autumn flocks vary more - with counts from seven to twenty-six over the same period

They are not easy to find [6 pairs in c50 km2 of downland] and the best place to see them is at Weeting Heath  where the Norfolk Wildlife Trust has viewing facilities - Stone curlew are on the RED list
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