Yep, wise words as usual John
I think analysis of museum specimens, curlews from central asia, and any hybrids found could prove very interesting....the more you delve and read about SBC the more you realise just how little has ever been known about them and it makes you wonder just how much weight to put on several of the quoted id features of anything other than definite adult birds.....I can't help finding it a little strange that they all bred side by side and since then no breeding grounds anywhere can be found......and SBC has never been anything other than rare - even 100 years ago they were 'rare' - maybe 1 for every 100 curlews is the quoted figure....
and yes, all along the shape, structure, build and bill have appeared at least, to be very different from any pix available of those earlier birds with their light build, small size and slender bills.
Sorry Tom but i can't see much virtue in posting our fave pic of the bird to highlight our point of view..... I could refer you to any of the pix John mentions above as to what a SBC looks like jizz-wise (and i do mean any of them!)