IN MALLORCA, LOOK FOR AT… WHERE ELSE CAN I SEE IT?
MORE INFO The name thick-knee comes from an 18th Century name for the bird – Thick-kneed Bustard. In southern Africa, stone-curlew species were also known by another name, dikkops Found on dry farmland, heaths and grassland, this strange-looking, stocky wader is a member of the thick-knee family, which all share its goggle-eyed appearance. In daylight, it will often crouch or stand under trees or other cover, becoming more active around dawn and dusk. Its wailing, whistling calls can resemble those of the Curlew and the Oystercatcher, and it is often heard before it’s seen. Son Real, a nature reserve with a visitor centre and bird hide just south of Alcudia – this site is also great for a variety of warblers, plus Crossbills and Cirl Buntings. A resident breeding species, it is relatively common in dry arable areas on the island, but can also be found at wetland sites such as Albufera and s’albufereta Natural Park. Keep an eye out in any areas of dry arable land – scan fields carefully as Stone-curlews can be astonishingly well camouflaged against the earth. Mainly a bird of southern Europe and the Near East, with birds from further north wintering near the Mediterranean and in Africa. In Britain, small numbers (350 pairs) breed in East Anglia (especially the Breckland), and on Salisbury Plain. Conservation efforts have resulted in a small increase in the population, but it remains rare. It is a summer visitor in the UK, from March to October. Head for Weeting Heath in Norfolk where the Norfolk Wildlife Trust has viewing facilities. Large yellow eye and yellow on bill visible even at fairly long range White belly, streaked upperparts Broad white stripe from forehead, passes under eye White band across closed wing In flight, long wings with black trailing edge, and white spots near tip Steady, regular walk, but tilts forward when running
Stone-curlew Son Real s’albufereta Natural Park s’albufereta Natural Park