This time of year bids goodbye to migrating birds, goodnight to those hibernating creatures of Cornwall and hello to the first signs, sights and sounds of Autumn on land and sea.
This wonderful part of the world provides a great stopover for southerly migrating birds and many twitchers jump at the chance to visit Cornwall as the leaves turn to catch a glance of rare and unusual species on their journey to warmer climates. Watch out for birds forming flocks – from long-tailed tits, starlings and swallows which gather ready for the big off to Africa. If you head to the Fal Estuary you may find a number of wading birds, including Ospreys, who have stopped off on their journey south. You may even spot migratory geese which arrive from the Artic to spend the winter with us.
The Cornish coast also plays a large role in the arrival of seal pups at this time of year. Seal colonies can be found on secluded beaches and coves, where they will be looking after pups or in the surrounding water and even fighting over female attention! A famous outlook for seal habitation is the beautiful Mutton Cove at Godrevy Point. Walk from the National trust car parks dotted along Godrevy and up to the cliff edge where you can look down to the cove beach below and watch the wildlife. You may even be lucky enough to spot sharks, whales and dolphins for the last time before winter closes in! Follow that with a warming cuppa and one of the wonderful cakes at Godrevy Café.
Our countryside is alive with autumn wildlife from early morning spiders casting their dew laden webs and squirrels foraging for food to deer, foxes and badgers. There are a number of woodland walks on offer in Cornwall to find such beasts such as Kennal Vale Nature Reserve in Ponsanooth – the site of an old gunpowder works where old mill buildings can be found nestled amongst woodland, wildlife and raging streams.
Idless Woods near Truro provides the perfect walk or bike ride, for those early birds wishing to catch the sun, on its top paths and Tehidy near Portreath plays host to a variety of wildlife with its walks, pond and coastal countryside. It also has a café, a number of car parks and the occasional theatrical performance for all the family from Rogue Theatre – a truly wonderful and talented group.
So whether you’re rambling along a coastal path or delving through mud across Cornwall there is still much wildlife to see across the county – for added family fun there are a number of online resources and activities to get the children involved in the throws of autumn life too.