Monday, 13 February 2012

Where have all the Choughs gone?

8-year old female Chough with unringed male at Llangrannog

Jane and I have spent the last two days walking the Ceredigion coastline again looking for Choughs (especially those wearing colour-rings). Started at Aberarth and covered most of the suitable bits down to just south of Mwnt. As has been the case all winter the number of birds encountered was far less than expected. The route took in at least 12 past nest-sites but only 4 pairs were recorded!! Admittedly, it is very easy to miss birds feeding quietly on the cliffs themselves but evenso this doesn't bode well for the coming season. One of the pairs encountered comprised two colour-ringed birds that were previously each paired to an un-ringed bird. The complete lack of any feeding flocks is also unusual and maybe points to the bad effects of the last two severe winters. Only other birds of interest were a few Red-throated Divers (some in summer plumage), a single imm female Peregrine and a load of prospecting Fulmars (Fulmar photos taken on January visit)

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