West Cornwall locations

Rare birds are found all across Cornwall, blessed as we are with great climate and proximity to the sea and paths of migrant birds. Here we list details of some of the most popular sites in West Cornwall.


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Amazing coastal site, along the sw coast path, near to Lands end and Porthcurno.

Sat Nav TR19 6JW. From the A30 near lands end, take the road to Porthcurno, you will see a narrow road for Porthgwarra signposted off to the right. Follow the road past the farms. and down towards the cost. Just past the tiny cafe, turn right and there is a small pay and display car park.

From the car park you can head West up the coastal path, and soon enter what is signposted as a RSPB reserve. You can also head up from the car park past the houses onto the moors.  On my first trip to Porthwarra in November 2011, I was walking across the moor towards the nagivation beacons when two short eared owls leapt out of the short heather just in front of me, frightened me to death, and I just managed to get a shaky picture.  Many different birds have been sighted here over the years, including Cornish Choughs, Harriers, Siskins, Desert Wheatear, Dusky Warblers.  Gwenmap head is one of the most popular seawatching locations in the county.

Hayle Estuary and RSBP

Just off the A30 between Redruth and Penzance is the town of Hayle, with the most southerly estuary in the UK. 

Sat Nav: Lat/lng: 50.17683,-5.43149.  Heading south west, take the second exit for Hayle ( one after St Ives on the roundabout), follow the road for approx 1/2 mile, then take a sharp right turn just after the car jetwash, first right ( beware oncoming traffic) down the unmade road to the car park.

A huge variety of migrant waders, ducks, and seabirds can be found here, especially in the winter. Ryans field has a hide overlooking the salt marsh and lagoon. The RSBP has a page here dedicated to the site with a useful map that can be downloaded. The RSBP site has a car park. In my limited time as a birder I've seen many of my first species sightings here. I commonly see black and bar tailed godwits, lapwing,  redshanks, teal, curlew,  little egret, shelducks – but of course there are any more species around.

To be continued ..