Update by Régis Perdriat of the LPO Station at l’Île Grande
Regis reports that in August and September this year there have been 2-3 red-billed choughs visiting the vicinity of the Station and Brittany’s Sept Îles Reserve. With 50+ pairs of choughs breeding in Brittany, the species’ nearest stronghold is Ile Ouessant (Ushant), the island at the western end of the Brest Peninsula.
These sightings are not the first as in recent years there have been several choughs recorded in the reserve and in the vicinity of the Île Grande station:
• 1-2 birds were seen at the LPO Station between 18th October and 6th December 1987;
• 1 bird seen at the LPO Station 31st October and 2nd November 1994;
• 1 bird seen in August 1997 on Île Rouzic (the island of the Sept Îles with the gannet colony);
• 3 birds seen between the 8th and 20th August 2005 (one bird had been ringed on Ouessant in May of the same year and was back on Ouessant two months later);
• 7 birds were seen at the LPO Station on 3rd October 2007 and 2 on the 17th October;
• 2-3 birds seen regularly between the 20th August and the 17th of September 2012.
Interestingly there have been sightings of choughs even further north including birds at Cap Fréhel, Calais and even a juvenile at the Antifer nature reserve (Seine Maritime).