Each Where to Watch Birds in Cornwall guide will provide you with a good guide on when and where to find the best birding spots throughout Cornwall. Each guide will tell you the best time of year to go to each location, best access points, bird hides and time to day to spot the birds you are looking to find.
We also offer fully guided bird tours in Cornwall to many of these locations throughout the year.
Situated in the far south-west of the UK, Cornwall offers a myriad of diverse habitats for birds, from majestic cliffs along rugged coastlines, sand dunes, beaches and estuaries to reed fringed lakes, rivers and streams, wooded valleys, open farmland and moorland peaks. We have some amazing reserves and protected marine areas too, The RSPB’s Hayle Estuary is the most southerly of its kind in the UK and their other reserve at Marazion Marsh is the most southerly reed bed habitat. There are other reserves managed by organisations like South-West Water and the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society, like Walmsley, Drift and Stithians Reservoirs, and St Gothians Sands LNR. The National Trust is also a large landowner in Cornwall and offers places like Godrevy Head, as well as many parks and gardens, for the visiting birdwatcher.
The valleys of the far west have long been synonymous with rare and scarce birds. Porthgwarra, Cot Valley, Kenidjack and Nanquidno are a must for those in search of migrants and vagrants form the West and East. Mid-Cornwall offers more diverse habitat. Bodmin Moor and the surrounding areas include large bodies of open water like Colliford Lake and Dozemary Pool. Mixed woodlands like the ones at Cardinham and Golitha Falls, with its fast flowing river, provide the county with specialist woodland species.
And of course we are surrounded by the sea on all coastlines. From late July, through August and into September, certain Cornish headlands are Mecca for sea-watchers in search of rare seabirds. If you catch the right wind direction, Gwennap Head, Pendeen Watch, Lizard Point or St Ives Island can be witness to some of the best seabird movement in the UK