Bit by bit, the moor has come to life again. Cotton grass flowers are out, skylarks are larking and meadow pipits are parachuting out of the sky like shuttlecocks. It is a great time of year for the Chayne, made all the more special by the recent arrival of curlews.
At the beginning of March I heard my first curlew of the year, and numbers have gradually been building and building. Every open patch of grass now has a jumble of curlews standing proudly on it, and pairs will soon be nesting. By April, I will scarcely be able to hear myself think for the constant bubbling sound of calling birds, and I suppose that I am responsible for keeping their nests and chicks safe from crows and foxes. Having found signs of a raided curlew nest last year, it’s clear that they have got plenty of enemies in the long grass, and I can do alot to make their lives much easier.