Enjoying real bird watching heaven with Cornwall cottage holidays
If you’re into birding or twitching you can’t go far wrong with Cornwall cottage holidays. A smart holiday home provides plenty of room to stash your bird watching gear, loads of room to spread out wet clothing if you need to and enough home comforts to soothe away the rigours of a hard day tracking down fascinating species. Best of all the county is packed with really good birding spots. Take the estuary at Hayle for a start, an internationally recognised bird hot spot down in the west.
Owned by the RSPB, the estuary is an official Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to a plethora of unusual waders. There’s purpose built hides at strategic points throughout the reserve and it’s very popular with birders on Cornwall cottages holidays from as far flung places as Japan, the US and all over Britain. It’s an important stop off for a variety of migrant waders including the ubiquitous gull, large and small; herring gulls, great black backed, black headed, lesser blacks, common gulls and med gulls, little gulls and even Iceland and glaucous gulls, depending on the season.
A winter Cornwall cottages holiday delivers keen birdwatchers the chance to see flocks of Eurasian teal and wigeon in action, with the occasional green winged teal and American wigeon joining in. There’s divers and grebes, goosander and merganser little busy little dunlin, accompanied by the lonely cries of the curlew and the lapwing, AKA the plover. You’ll see the oystercatcher, bar tailed godwit, knot and greenshank wading the sandy shores and the startling turquoise flash of kingfishers, known to frequent Ryan’s Field and Lelant railway station platform.
Visit in spring for whimbrel, little ringed plover and two flavours of sandpiper, the wood and the green. There’s the odd avocet, a wonderfully elegant bird, and terns aplenty. In autumn you’ll feast on vast numbers of waders at Hayle with dunlin and ringed plover vying for space with the turnstone, little stint, egret and ruff. And in summer you’ll spot grey heron and redshank, birds of prey like the majestic buzzard, clever carrion crow, highly intelligent rook and tiny meadow pippet, swallow, swift and house martin.
If you’re extremely lucky you might even spot a spoonbill, any number of unusual sandpiper types, longbilled dowitchers and phalaropes, bonepartes gulls and the charming citrine wagtail. There’s bonepartes gulls and white billed divers. The black kite has been known to pay a visit. And there’s always the possibility of seeing whiskered, gull billed, white winged, black and Forsters terns. Enough to turn the head of any self-respecting twitcher… pun intended!