Farewell George: an unexpected goodbye starts a new chapter for the Lizard choughs
Many of you who follow the choughs will have heard of ‘George’, otherwise known, by local children, as ‘Champion chough’. He was the bird that usurped the original male at Lizard Point, stole his mate and, after losing her a fortnight later, was left to foster the original pair’s last brood. After a dramatic start to 2013, George proved himself a champion by raising these two chicks entirely on his own against all the odds!
George and one of his 2014 chicks (Photographer: Terry Thirlaway. Copyright National Trust)
‘Champion chough’ nested near Lizard Point with a new mate (Nora) ever since; successfully raising 8 chicks. The pair started nesting again in early March this year, so we geared ourselves up for another season of nest watch, but to our horror ‘George’ vanished; leaving his mate the only chough on The Lizard and taking with him any hope of a brood of Lizard chicks this year....
...Or so we thought!
Have a Listen to this....
What does the UK coastline sound like and what are the distinctive sounds of Scottish estuaries, Cornish beaches, the Pembrokeshire coast or a busy seafront? In what ways do these sounds fascinate us, move us or seem important to us?
Sounds of our Shores is a community-led, interactive soundmap which asked members of the public to upload their favourite seaside sounds and help build a permanent digital resource of UK coastal recordings. In addition a resident sound artist spent time on the Lizard recording the sounds of our shores. Much of what he recorded and what was uploaded by the public from all over the UK can be found on https://audioboom.com/channel/soundsofourshores.
Solar Energy, farmers and the environment
The NFU believes that its members are well-placed to capture renewable natural energy flows, while maintaining our traditional role in food production as well as the delivery of other environmental and land management services. It is the NFU's aspiration that every farmer and grower should have the opportunity to become a net exporter of low-carbon energy.
British farmers are working hard to enhance the British countryside, protect the environment, maintain habitats for native plants and animals, maintain footpaths, protect watercourses and support wildlife species. Productive farming depends on fertile soils and clean water, so it is hardly surprising that farmers prioritise the protection of these vital national resources.
‘Swailing’ – where there’s smoke there’s a reason
Those of you who are regular watchers of the sky may have noticed in the last few weeks that it changed from its more traditional winter colour of battleship grey to something approaching a pleasing shade of blue. Yet, at this time of year, cometh the blue sky, cometh the smoke as farmers and conservationists alike took the opportunity of this window of dry and settled weather to burn selected patches of heathland. For those unfamiliar with the practice it appears a destructive form of habitat management, but carried out correctly it has a number of benefits for both graziers and wildlife and is regarded as one of man’s oldest land management tools, predating civilisation itself.
Good Friday Trigging Tradition
It is Good Friday and a beautiful sunny day and I am off down to Helford Passage to soak up the holiday atmosphere and help conduct Helford Marine Conservation Group’s informal survey of the ancient tradition of Trigging. Families some of several generations from around Cornwall and some further afield descend on the Helford River armed with rakes, hoes and a good picnic to pick Cockles.
Trigging on Bar Beach
Where to Find Birds on The Lizard - Late Winter/Early Spring
As with much of the natural world birds are coming to life about now. For those that like to get out and about this article describes a few good areas, on The Lizard, to see birds at this time of year. I will start with a Lizard location that is not on The Lizard (but hey ho it is a great walk and a good place to easily see birds).
Loe Pool (SW 647250)
The best place to park is opposite the boating lake in the Penrose Amenity Area Car Park. The circular walk around the perimeter (from the car park) is just over six miles and it is a fairly easy walk but can be muddy in places. Start at the water works where you will see Chiffchaff - this is a great place to familiarise yourself with this lovely little species.