Wader Wednesday – Upland Wader Nests

Curlew nest with four eggs

I am fortunate enough to be staying in a house in Shetland that backs onto rough grassland, marsh and upland areas. The area is so wet in places that even the sheep don’t venture across it. However, this unremarkable area has good botantical interest and has several waders species breeding on it. From the vantage point of my kitchen window I have seen and heard snipe, redshank, oystercatcher, lapwing and curlew.

It is sad to think that at one time areas like this were commonplace across the country and many more people would have enjoyed the sights and sounds that I do. Sadly, since the second world war, in the rush to “improve” grassland areas like this they have been drained, fertilised and over-grazed.

Waders don’t need much encouragement to breed, just some suitable habitat and the space to survive.

Lapwing nest with four eggs
Lapwing nest
Shetland rough grassland
Rough grassland
Curlew nest with four eggs in Shetland
Curlew nest