Posted 18 December 2018 by Beverley Fuller
Our lovely Roseland Peninsula is brilliant for birding and has plenty more wildlife too. Unusually for Cornwall we have sheltered countryside and woodland – which deer love - that even reaches the shore in places, especially around the Fal River.
There'll be plenty to see near your South Cornwall holiday cottage. Around the Carrick Roads you'll find one of the UK's largest flocks of black-necked grebes – Loe Beach and Turnaware Point are usually good places to see them. Pennarrow Point, Portscatho and Rosevine are also great places for birding. Native birds here include cormorants, curlews, redshank and oystercatchers, while winter visitors – especially waders - can be magnificent.
Cornwall's 'national' bird is the chough, which sadly disappeared for some years but is now firmly back. Peregrine falcons, redshanks, egrets – increasingly regular visitors that often roost on our riverbanks – and even hoopoes... Clearly they've sussed our exceptional climate!
It's worth exploring the wider area too, and if you're staying in Ruan Lanihorne it's an easy run up to Tywardreath Marsh. If your ideal wildlife is invertebrates, this is for you. The habitat is marsh and woodland in the silted-up arm of a once-tidal river, with a public footpath around it (often muddy - half the fun for some, I suspect). Another nature reserve that's easy to reach from your Roseland holiday cottage is Tresayes, which I'd recommend if you're into geology. We all learnt about stalactites and stalagmites at school, but I hadn't heard of pegmatites until I went there!
Ropehaven Cliffs nature reserve stretches from the high-tide line on a stretch of St Austell Bay to the South West Coast Path above it. Fulmars lay their eggs on the cliff ledges, and housemartins feed high above your head. Walk by the old slate workings, which are a typically Cornish feature, as well as bands of limestone, which are unusual here; take care though, as the path can be slippery.
So wherever you're staying on the Roseland, why not grab the binoculars and venture outside your holiday cottage for some wildlife-watching? It's a lovely way to connect with the landscape at any time of year, and who knows what you might see!