A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Nesting ChoughsEarly April – The choughs in Cornwall have been very busy nest building over the last month or so, some pairs have quite a bit of work to do where their nests have been blown out by winter storms, others at less exposed sites only have to refurbish last year's nest and line it with new sheep's wool, cattle hair, or soft grasses. Younger pairs go at this with great enthusiasm sometimes building a couple of nests in different places before they settle on just the right one. Once a pair decide on a nest site they normally use it for their lifetime, but they can move, probably in response to changes around the area or another species moving in a bit too close for them to feel comfortable.

Chough collecting nesting materialsNow in their fourteenth breeding season since they returned to Cornwall, the choughs have spread around the coast with the majority of pairs now found in the far west. This year we are closely monitoring more pairs than ever before (last year there were five), which is very exciting! It is too early to say how many will be successful - quite a few are inexperienced first time breeders but watch this space for more information come fledging time in June.
Chough Watch volunteerAs usual nests are guarded to ensure the choughs have the best chance of success and a volunteer chough watcher team from RSPB and NT is out there on the cliffs across the different sites keeping an eye on them (and you if you are near a nestJ). Nest locations are not publicised to keep them that bit safer, but the choughs are not at all good at keeping silent so it is not that hard to track them down. If you do, sit quietly and you will no doubt be rewarded with stunning close-up views. Don't forget to send us your sightings; they are really valuable to us – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published: Apr 2015

Author: Claire Mucklow (RSPB Cornwall)