Friday 9 February 2018

All out for Choughs!

Well the field season is really kicking off now!! Amy and I went down to Devon at the end of last month with Claire Mucklow (RSPB) and Peter Burgess (Devon Wildlife Trust) to help install some Chough nest boxes on National Trust property in the hope of encouraging them to spread from Cornwall or South Wales.

I then went straight to North Wales for a brilliant week with my Welsh Chough Project colleague Adrienne Stratford and old mate Tony Fox (Aahaus University) and his Danish colleague Henning Heldbjerg (Dansk Ornitologisk Forening) to GPS tag some inland-breeding Choughs. Using the 20 odd tags they have kindly lent us we are hoping, over the next few months, to trial a project to identify important feeding sites and investigate their foraging behaviour to try and determine why the inland Welsh population is in steep decline. Catching adult Choughs in snowy weather proved a challenge but we managed to catch seven and fitted tags to 6 known breeding adults. 

Four of the birds were previously ringed by us as chicks and ranged from 8 to 18 years old this summer! Was great to meet up with some old friends both feathered and unfeathered!!