Bird watching on the Hayle Estuary

Birdwatching in West Cornwall offers the chance to see rare species and migrating birds throughout the year.

The Nationally renowned RSPB Hayle Estuary nature reserve incorporates a variety of habitats. During cold winters up to 18,000 birds can be found here, on the most southerly estuary in the UK. Due to the mild climate it is  one of a few that never freezes. The site has SSSI status protecting wintering wildfowl and waders and includes Ryan’s Field, an area across the road from the main estuary .

In the spring and autumn migrating waders, gulls and terns can be seen while in the summer, an Osprey might be spotted. The estuary is also home to numerous  residents, including Curlew, Little Egret, Oyster Catchers and flocks of Widgeon.

The excellent bird watching conditions continue along Copperhouse Creek,. The eastern end of the creek is best at high tide when waders and gulls gather on exposed grassy areas, while the western end has rare birds of passage, Ring-Billed Gull and the Pied-Billed Grebe.

Both sites are good for walking, with pushchair-friendly paths.

Bird watching on the Hayle estuary
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