Over the cliffs at Cape Cornwall
If you are seeking an ornithological paradise, Cornwall, with its many miles of coastline and mild climate, attracts migratory birds and some unusual ones at that. Don’t forget the call of the herring gulls, evocative of many a family beach holiday.
Autumn/winter’s mesmerising starling murmurations are definitely a sight to behold. They really do stop you in your tracks. We have seen traffic pull over on the A39 to watch their amazing acrobatics. The Marazion marsh is a particularly good spot for them, as is Rough Tor on Bodmin Moor. Singly, they may not look like much, but together this endangered bird is really an incredible sight. If you are a serious spotter, then find out more on the Cornwall Birding website or Cornwall Birds.
You will spot birds almost wherever you go in Cornwall but some places are simply spectacularly good. The Hayle Estuary offers an RSPB reserve which is at its best in winter, home to a variety of wetland birds.
Meanwhile, down on the Lizard, you may be fortunate enough to find a Cornish chough, but also look out for characterful razorbills, guillemots and puffins. Of course, Looe Island, has its own nature reserve, with black-backed gulls, oystercatchers and cormorants. Rame Head attracts birdwatchers and birds alike, so it makes a good pairing. Bodmin Moor has miles and miles of wild habitat, a wonderful place to see birds of prey out on the rocky tors.
The elusive small but colourful kingfisher is a beautiful bird to see, with its exotic blue and copper plumage and long beak. There is one at Bude canal, which occasionally poses for photographs; generally, they may be found by rivers and streams on low overhanging branches ready to dive in to catch a small fish. To see what the latest rare sightings are check this website.
Bring those binoculars!