Friday, 30 September 2011

Chough-ing Heaven!

Yesterday, fresh from a birding trip to Kazakhstan, Adrienne Stratford, with whom I share the Chough RAS, headed straight out to Conwy Mountain to follow-up a report of a large flock of Choughs and to check for colour-ringed birds. Sure enough she soon located a flock of at least 47 Choughs and managed eventually to read the colour-ring combinations on 29 of them!  21 were birds of the year (which hopefully signals a good all-round survival rate this year), 5 were hatched in 2010 and 3 were known breeding adults. 6 had come from the nearby Ormes (Great and Little) either side of Llandudno, 5 from the Penmaenmawr Quarries, 5 from the North Anglesey Coast, 4 from the Lleyn, 2 from Bardsey, 1 from Snowdonia and 1 from Blaenau Ffestiniog - a real mix of origins. Not satisfied with this she then visited the nearby Aber Valley and had another flock of 16 birds (9 more colour-ringed) including 1 local, 3 from the Ormes, 1 from N. Anglesey, 2 from Snowdonia, 1 from Blaenau Ffestiniog and 1 from Bardsey. All but a few were reportable controls having travelled more than 5 kms, with a couple having travelled over 80 kms - who said Choughs were sedentary?  Well done Adrienne, an amazing effort!

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