Bird Watching Cornwall

The Bird Guide to Cornwall

Cornwall is a haven for bird watching and our Cornwall Holiday Cottages are a brilliant place to admire them; the Atlantic ocean surrounds our beautiful county. This brings countless varieties of migratory birds through our landscape, often with unusual, unexpected visitors that have been blown off course or numerous other reasons, and they end up staying in Cornwall for a short period.

Our southwest position within the UK means the climate is warmer throughout the year and has a vast range of environments that inhabit all types of birds. Below are some of my favourite birds that live in and visit Cornwall and Restronguet Creek.

Bird Watching Tours

Fancy being guided around Cornwalls birdwatching hotspots, by Paul and his team have many years of bird watching expertise and will guide you to enjoy the expansive bird population of Cornwall and its many visitors.


Migrating Birds

In spring and early summer you will encounter migrant birds and in the right conditions you may encounter like Hoopoe, Woodchat Shrike or Alpine Swift who overshot or have been blown away from their mainland Europe destination! Warblers, Swallows, Martins, Swifts and more return to our woodlands and reedbeds and treat us aerial displays in the sky respectfully!


Cornwall water’s stretches out to the Atlantic, and with it is undulating landscape making it an attractive place for many sea birds to nest. The north and the south coastlines are sharply contrasting, the rugged cliffs of the north coast and sheltered creeks and bays of the south, offering an ideal environment for array of wildlife and the food supply they need.

You can find 14+ types of gull including Glaucous, Little, Yellow-legged, Caspian, Iceland and Mediterranean. Offshore we have the divers & seabirds which include Common and Velvet Scoter, Eider, Shag, Cormorant, Balearic Shearwater and Great, Pomarine Skua and Shearwaters like Great and Cory’s, Balearic, Manx and Sooty Shearwaters, Great and Arctic Skuas and can be joined by Pomarine and Long-tailed.

Wading Birds

In the winter there are number of waders that you should be able to spot like Golden Plover, Purple Sandpiper, Snipe, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Avocet, Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew, Ringed Plover and possibly Ruff, Jack Snipe or something rarer. The best place to find the waders are on the wide variety and diverse mudflats, salt marshes and estuaries.

Birds of Prey

Always an impressive site are Birds of Prey, large and predatory bird species with distinctive features, like sharp talons and hooked bills, no matter where you see them they are a spectacular site and come in all shapes and sizes: Here are some of them you may find in Cornwall: Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Tawny Owl, Red Kite, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Hobby and Kestrel.

Grey Heron

One of our favourites is the Heron a truly elegant bird that has a large, pale grey and white body that glides effortlessly through the sky. They are frequently seen on the seashore standing motionless- waiting for breakfast, lunch and dinner, frequently seen standing in a group along the creek edge and they look like they are playing musical statues.

Identifying a Bird
Sometimes you may notice a bird, that may look unfamiliar we use the RSPB Bird Identifier to help us work out what the bird could have been.

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