welsh choughs

Recently we went on a trip to beautiful North Wales. After a week of mountain walks, outstanding views and croaking ravens; we decided to venture to the coast. We were in search of secluded beaches, infinite sea and choughs.

We hadn’t been walking for long when we spotted what could be a chough. A quick look through the binoculars confirmed that it, in fact there were two of them. The striking red legs and curved red beak against the ink black feathers was a beautiful sight.

We stopped right on the edge of the coast, where the sea glistened off the cliffs below and stretched infinitely into the distance. The sea has a impression on me unlike anything else; I could stare into the distance forever. It is a sight that grounds me and shows what a big world we are a part of. It leaves me wondering about what lies beneath, thoughts which can instil awe and even fear.

We sat for an hour watching choughs in flight. Their agility in the air was staggering, it is what identified them from the other corvids. Diving, soaring, swerving with such effortlessness. These amazing birds are on the amber list, with 250-350 breeding pairs in the UK. They are confined to the Welsh coast, the west coast of Scotland and Ireland and a few pairs in Cornwall; on rocky coasts with short grassland. Conservation work has taken place on the part of the coast we were on to create good habitat for this bird and it seems to be doing the trick.

This beautiful, inky black bird is truly magnificent. Grab your binoculars and seek them out.

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