Saturday, 7 September 2013

Claire is chuffed with Cornish Choughs

A Cornish Chough
I have recently heard from Claire Mucklow, who is the RSPB’s excellent Cornwall Chough Project Manager, who sent me the latest news, saying that it has been a pretty good year for the Cornish Choughs.
She says: “Over in Penwith, the fantastic news is the two established pairs successfully fledged five chicks each, which is a real achievement given the harsh winter and delayed spring. And excitingly, after waiting four years, an unpaired female at last found a mate when a two year old male  appeared around Cape Cornwall in early spring (he had been spending his time up on the north coast around the surfing beaches), and they soon got down to nest building.
They successfully fledged one chick, which they were very protective over, making sure she was well hidden away every time potential hassle in the feathered form of ravens or crows or the clothed form of homo sapiens came near - the male chough ‘growling’ quite convincingly at times!”
She then goes on to say that “A chattering of a dozen choughs wheeling around the skies in Penwith is becoming a regular sight—fantastic!”
What a wonderful name a group of chough has – a chattering – it is exactly what they sound like – a rather "over the top" bunch of youths chatting excitedly!
Other chough pairs have also produced chicks, so it looks as though the Cornish emblem is getting firmly established in the county once again, having been absent for many years. Thanks to Claire’s hard work and the farmers she advises, who create short, grazed grass along the cliff tops (with plenty of cowpats!) that these birds need to find their food.
How great to be able to report a success story

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