© Durham Bird Club. Managed by Sacha Elliott

May 23

Stone Curlew?


Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some help in identifying a bird. More specifically a bird call.

I live on the outskirts of Spennymoor in County Durham. For the last two nights I have heard a call that I haven't heard for more than ten years, a call which baffled me as much back then as it does now. I have only ever heard the call late at night, between 10pm and midnight. Obviously being dark - I can give no visual details, the call is almost like a wailing sound, very haunting, it comes from a bird flying fairly high, not flying straight as the sound moves around, circling the area maybe, before fading off into the distance.

Now I don't pretend to be an expert in bird identification, but I do have a good understanding and general knowledge of birds and calls, and this one has me stumped. It is definitely not the sound of an owl, certainly one I have never heard before.

I have done lots of research over the last two days, and eliminating all the possibilities of what it could be, I am left with the stone curlew... Can I ask If this bird has sighted in Durham before? Or has anyone else heard this curios call during the night? Or can offer any other suggestions as to what it might be,

Many thanks.