You have all heard the story by now, the Southerly Point male was seen fighting with another chough and disappeared, leading us to believe this fight somehow led to his demise. You may also have heard by now that the chough who he fought with was male and has seemingly adopted the Southerly Point chicks which have now successfully fleged. We have come to know him as the ‘champion’ chough and the origin of this name, I feel needs some explanation.
Thanks to a grant from Cornwall Development Company’s Local Action Group, over the last three years, we have been working with communities and schools across West Cornwall. Through this grant we developed the Chough Club, a special children’s wildlife group. At the last session, Cat was relaying the seasons events to the children, who needless to say were devastated that the choughs they’ve been watching for three years have had such a tough time. Surprisingly, their reaction to the new single male chough and his behaviour was very simple and practical. They said:
“so first he was really, really bad, but now he’s being very good and working hard to look after the chicks, which is really important for all the choughs, right?” to which Cat said “yes, now he’s being a bit of a champion chough”
Not thinking much more of it, Cat and the Chough Club wandered down to the Lizard watchpoint to see if they could see the single chough. He appeared shortly after we arrived, and they all began to point and cheer “champion chough”, it’s champion chough!”. They were so excited, more excited than Cat had seen them before. What Cat thought was a passing comment has stuck with the children, and now the whole chough watch team. Since last Saturday one of the Chough Club kids has been visiting the point everyday to watch over“his champion chough”. He now proudly exhibits one of our chough pinbadges and the gaze of his binoculars rarely strays far from the chough’s cave.