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St Beuno's curlew

21st Apr 2023

The 21st June was chosen as World Curlew Day as it is also the feast day of St Beuno, a 7th Century Welsh abbot. His connection with the curlew is a tale told of how he came to bless the bird, offering protection that makes it hard to find a curlew nest.

Traveling across water from where he lived at Clynnog to where he preached at Llanddwyn, St Beuno dropped his book of prayers into the sea. When he reached the shore, he found that a curlew had scooped the book from the sea with its long beak, and set it on a stone to dry and was standing guard.

So relieved was the abbot that he blessed the bird and ever since the curlew's nest and eggs have been hard to locate.

Photo: (c) Emily Graham

A lovely story. The curlew nest is indeed hard to see. However, curlews are not as common as they once were, with the uplands a last refuge for large populations of these wonderful birds.

Remember this time of year, if walking in the uplands, be careful where you tread; and if you are walking a dog please keep it on a lead.