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

Falmouth Packet: The new pair The new pair

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 original Lizard Point pair of choughs suffered a dramatic end in 2013 after pioneering the natural return of choughs to Cornwall since 2001, raising 46 chicks along the way.

In late May 2013 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 at Lizard Point, keeping volunteers guessing until they settled in the original nest cave.

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 per cent sure what was in the nest until recently.

Finally, licensed BTO bird ringer, Tony Cross was able to put their minds at rest when he came to colour ring the young choughs on May 15.

A spokesman for Lizard and Penrose National Trust said: "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."

The youngsters are expected to fledge in early June and nis 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.

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