15 May 2017

A very Lizard day

As part of the celebrations for the extension of the Lizard National Nature Reserve the group ran a ringing demonstration at the weekend at Windmill Farm, which is jointly owned by Cornwall Bird Watching & Preservation Society and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

It was great to see a few young faces coming along to see what we do and we were able to show them a variety of birds, including some long-distance migrants, some local breeders and even a very recently fledged young Blackbird.

Whilst down on the Lizard we also took the opportunity of a low tide to get into one of the sea caves to ring the first of the year's Cornish Choughs. After a climb and a scramble it was a pleasure to find four very healthy-looking chicks in the nest, all at a perfect size for ringing. Each then got its own combination of coloured rings which will allow the dedicated band of Chough-watchers to follow their progress and movements around the county in years to come. This gives a vital understanding of the behaviour and conservation needs of this iconic Cornish species.

Leg length is one of the best ways to identify the sex of nestlings

After returning the chicks to the nest, we took the opportunity to look at their nest site from their own perspective. You can see how well-protected the nest is from the worst of the Cornish weather and also pretty safe from predators. Perched at the top of an isolated sea cave, their view of the outside world is limited - for now.

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