Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Choughing 'eck!

One of Peter's friends, Mark Haydock, took these photos of the choughs on Mynydd Mawr, and kindly shared them with us.

Choughs (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) are an unusual and rare member of the crow family, with distinctive red bills and feet. They are restricted to the western extremities of the UK and Ireland, and are rare enough to be on the RSPB's amber list, with only about 500 breeding pairs in the UK. They are quite acrobatic fliers, and form flocks in the Autumn and Winter, although they are present in the UK all year round.

Chough with the ruined foundations of St Mary's church in the background

One of their most distinctive features is their call, which may have onomatopoeically inspired their common name, you can hear an audio clip on the RSPB website - http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/chough/index.aspx

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