Here in Redesdale, curlews are all around during their breeding season and at all times of day. Often, on a still night, I have the midnight chime at St. John's in the village on one side and a curlew calling from the moors on the other.
The Tynedale poet Wilfrid Wilson Gibson was moved sufficiently by the curlew's call to write:
Comes there so clear a call from any throat,
So clear a call to me
Back to the hills, the hills of memory?
The curlew's call
Is April sunshine on cold fells, and all
Rapture of youth to me,
Calling me to the hills, the hills of memory.
W. W. Gibson's poem Curlew is included in a collection of his work entitled Homecoming, published by the Wagtail Press in 2003 to celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth in Hexham. It is included here with the publisher's permission.