Friday, 16 May 2014

Weeks of wondering over; volunteers celebrate new chough chicks at Lizard Point

A team of National Trust and RSPB volunteers have been watching on tenterhooks to see if the legacy of choughs on the Lizard would continue. The long wait is over, and it is good news!

The original Lizard Point pair (2001 -2013)
As you may have heard, in 2013 volunteers witnessed the dramatic end of the original pair of choughs who had pioneered the natural return of choughs to Cornwall since 2001, raising 46 chicks. In late May the original male bird died defending his territory against a young incoming male, who then paired up with the existing female. Two weeks after the take over, she too disappeared, leaving the young incoming male to raise the chicks on his own. After a month of hard, lonely work the younger male managed to successfully raise the youngsters who fledged in July last year.

The young incoming male held his new territory over the winter and has attracted a new mate.  In March, the new pair built two nests here at Lizard Point, keeping volunteers guessing as to where they might settle. Thankfully, they settled in the original nest cave.

The new Lizard Point pair (present)
A team of RSPB and National Trust volunteers have being keeping a close eye on the Lizard choughs, and although it appears that the birds have been raising young, watchers couldn’t be 100% sure what was in the nest until today.  Finally, licensed BTO bird ringer, Tony Cross was able to put their minds at rest when he came to colour ring the young choughs yesterday (15th May). Everyone involved is pleased to announce that this year the new pair at Lizard Point have a brood of three new chicks in their nest. (Two males and a female). Thanks to information from the RSPB, we now know that from all five broods across Cornwall, there are a total of seventeen young chicks this year, which is fantastic news.

Lizard Wildlife Watchpoint - National Trust

The youngsters are expected to fledge in early June. Now is the best time to see choughs at the new National Trust Wildlife Watchpoint, which is open daily from 10am – 4pm. Volunteers are on hand until mid September to give you up to date information on the choughs, seals and other wildlife around Lizard Point, as well as provide great views through our binoculars and telescope.

Posted by Cat 

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For more information on the choughs visit: or

Photographs courtesy of  Andy Hay ( and Terry Thirlaway (National Trust ©)

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