Choughlets or choughlings?

Whichever you prefer, Kernow has some!

On Friday, Tony Cross paid his annual visit to say hello to the wild choughs of Cornwall and to find out what they have been up to.

Choughs lay between 3 - 5 eggs each year and the number can depend on age, experience, weather, disturbance or whether they can find enough food.  The number can sometimes be less than 3 if any of those factors are working against them.  They reach maturity at 3 years old but in Cornwall they start breeding at 2 years old.

All six nests were visited in one day and this is what happened in nest visit order:

Nest 1 - this pair have a bumper full clutch of 5 chicks.  This is the Lizard pair and their second year at breeding - last year they had 3.  They moved house in the spring (twice!) and the clever birds have set up their new home in a really good spot so hopefully they will have a successful fledging too.

Nest 2 - second year of breeding and only one chick in the nest.  They had three last year so we were expecting three plus due to maturity and experience.
choughletlingNest 3 - First year breeding attempt and they are both two years old.  They have picked a very good nest site. So good, Tony couldn't get to the nest in time so this could end up being a bit of a surprise for us come fledging time!
Nest 4 - This pair have had four chicks this year.  The past few years they have had a full clutch of five. Our oldest breeding pair of choughs in Cornwall and the oldest male in Cornwall at 11 years old.  This is their seventh/eighth year of breeding.

Nest 5 - This pair have had two chicks.  It is their third year of breeding and their third time of producing two chicks!

Nest 6 - a new pair who have produced one chick.  The male is an older bird who hasn't bred before but the female is only two.  This site is a busy site from visitors to the area and the pair struggled to get going.

That is it for another year.  Here is a picture of Tony doing his thing!
tony

Please note: These photographs are not to be re-produced, published or re-posted without permission of the photographer. Contact cornighchoughs@rspb.org.uk

Volunteer for Cornwall’s wild choughs

We are looking for local people to join our team to protect and monitor the wild chough population in West Cornwall.

About three quarters of the population of Cornwall’s choughs are in the St Just area and reside along the coast between Pendeen and Land's End.  Hopefully as the numbers go up, you are getting a chance to see them?

However, the numbers are still very low.  Monitoring the choughs helps us keep an eye on the population and what they are up to so we know how to best adapt our conservation efforts for them.

Choughs have the highest level of protection as a Schedule 1 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, but due to their rarity they are still at risk from disturbance and egg thieves.  A dedicated team of volunteers helps to protect nest sites from these risks.

In partnership with National Trust on the Lizard, we are also looking for volunteers to help protect and monitor the pair of choughs that live on Southerly Point.

Interested?
You don't need to be a birdwatcher, you just need to be interested in wildlife and love the outdoors!
Taking part involves spending a regular amount of time each week through the spring and early summer.
Most people volunteer on their own but you can also volunteer with your partner or a friend.
Ultimately, you are part of a team and it is a great opportunity to meet others with similar interests during the spring.
You also get to learn about and see the choughs and other wildlife on Cornwall’s coast.

You must be over 18 years old.   Have a good level of physical fitness and be comfortable outside in most weathers. Be passionate about wildlife and want to help protect the choughs.
Available for a few hours once a week or fortnight or more if you have plenty of time on your hands!  We are looking for people who are available April to June.

If you are interested in helping the National Trust on the Lizard, visit their blog site for more info: http://www.lizardandpenrose.blogspot.co.uk/

If you are interested in helping the choughs in West Cornwall, or would like more information on the choughs in Cornwall, contact us on: cornichchoughs@rspb.org.uk.

You can also register your interest to volunteer via Do-it.org

 

Chough support

During the breeding season, we always have a huge list of folks who's various ways of support help us chough watchers and in turn helps the choughs breeding success.  We just wanted to mention some of those that helped us out this year.  This is not everybody, there are those who quietly give support in many small ways, they know who they are.  So thank you!

National Coastwatch Institutions
YHA Land's End
Classic Cottages
Hella
The Forge
Cornish Cottages
Polpeor Cafe
St Aubyns Estate
Land's End
Hand Print

For more information, contact cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk or visit here