Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Cornwall’s new Chough Chicks: the class of 2015

  • It’s been another fantastic year for Choughs in Cornwall
  • Sixteen chicks are now emerging from their nests into the big wide world to join the growing chough population
  • RSPB and National Trust pay tribute to chough volunteers’ team




Young Cornish choughs will be spending the next few weeks perfecting their flying skills and following their parents as they search out the best places to find food. If they are lucky they will live on the coastal cliffs for the next fifteen years or so and go on to raise many chicks themselves.

Last week, as part of National Volunteering Week [1-7 June], the RSPB and National Trust in Cornwall are paying tribute to all the volunteers that give their time and skills to support conservation projects, especially at this time of year. The ‘Chough Watch’ team are a group of volunteers who help keep track of what is happening with all the pairs of choughs, not only keeping them safe and undisturbed but also acting as ambassadors for nature conservation.

Geoff Rogers from Camborne has volunteered an incredible 170 hours this season said; ‘Keeping watch over the chough pairs during the last three months, from early nest building to now watching newly fledged chicks take their first flight has been an opportunity for me to really get to know not only the choughs, but other wildlife too, I have seen otters playing in the surf, red kites soaring and grey seals catching a fish lunch, all during my chough watches! I love being outdoors and I know volunteering really does support the work of conservation organisations like the RSPB and National Trust’.

Claire Mucklow from the RSPB said; ‘Over the past 14 years hundreds of people have helped us with our chough related work as well as many other projects we run in Cornwall, we are so appreciative of all the time people like Geoff give because it really helps us to achieve more for wildlife. This year has been a challenging one, more pairs of choughs need more volunteers to watch over them -thanks to our brilliant devoted team we are coping, but we would welcome more help, so do get in touch with us if you think you would like to get involved. We would also like to thank the Tanner Trust for their kind donation to support our volunteer work.’

Tom Wilding has been volunteering for the National Trust at Lizard Point for the last few months to gain experience as he starts out on his career in nature conservation. Tom says; ‘being part of the ‘Chough Watch’ team means I now have experience and skills that will help me in the future, I’ve found it very rewarding, great fun, and this time spent volunteering will definitely put me ahead of others in the job hunting front!’

You can get an idea of what Tom's been up to and what it's like to volunteer on chough watch and the wildlife watchpoint here:



There are volunteering opportunities for all ages and abilities, you don’t need experience or fancy kit, just enthusiasm and some free time. For more information on choughs and volunteering for the RSPB contact either cornishchoughs@rspb.org.uk or claire.mucklow@rspb.org.uk


For opportunities to volunteer with the National Trust and choughs on the Lizard contact lizardrangers@nationaltrust.co.uk



EVENT:


Join us for a 'walk on the wild side' at Lizard Point, on route you will be introduced to the newly fledged choughs and some of the other fantastic wildlife that surrounds this unique area. Our Rangers will be on hand to tell you more about the history of choughs in Cornwall and talk you through the growing conservation effort supporting the chough's natural recolonisation. Meet at Lizard Point NT car park. £2.50 per person (additional parking charges apply to non-members). No need to book. For information call 01326 291174

- Cat

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