Seawatching for rare birds from the cliffs of West Cornwall

Willow Warbler
Lifeboat Birdwatching Wildlife Surfing Accommodation Sennen News Sennen School Sennen Beach Sennen Church Sennen Map Area Guide Weekly Quiz Weather Home Page Sennen Cove Harbour Local Events Calendar Local Links Climbing Property Job Vacancies Lands End Trekking Centre Local Shops Local Cafes General Message Board Cowloe Productions
Cory`s shearwater
Latest local bird reports Reports Archive Bird Image Gallery Birdwatching Website Links Local Site guide Latest local rarity images Latest local bird reports Birdwatching home page Seawatching Birdwatching videos Birwatching Message Board Birdwatching Guest Book


Birding Forum Well-known Cornish Birder Royston Wilkins scans for an Albatross from Gwennap Head , Porthgwarra !  

The far west of Cornwall ranks as one of the top spots in the UK for seabird-watching , and dedicated birders spend hundreds of hours every summer and autumn - often in grim conditions - on the local headlands in the hope of catching a glimpse of a really rare seabird.
Soft-plumaged Petrel......South Polar Skua even...who knows ?
Hella Point Uniquely situated exactly at the junction of the English Channel and the Celtic Sea , Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra must be the site - regularly producing large counts of unusual seabirds and consistently turning up real rarities.
Cory`s Shearwater Cory`s Shearwater- South-west Cornwall speciality , Porthgwarra is the top site , Pendeen and St.Ives Island can also produce in the right conditions.  
(Image - Peter Walsh)
Pendeen Watch On the North Coast, Pendeen Lighthouse is the place to be ; and this site`s track record comes pretty close to Gwennap Head. St.Ives Island, further to the northeast, is also a hotspot in the right conditions.

Sabine`s Gull Great Shearwater
Sabine`s Gull Great Shearwater
( Peter Walsh )

The main requirement for successful seawatching - other than patience - is a good understanding of the weather. The prime time generally is during or just after onshore gales. Winds between southeast and west favour Gwennap Head ; between west and north favour Pendeen. Strong northwesterlies or northerlies entrap birds in the confines of St.Ives Bay, bringing St.Ives Island into its own.
Gwennap Head has an exception to this in that , particularly in July and August, light southeasterlies can bring significant numbers of Cory`s Shearwater reasonably close inshore.
Other Seawatching Sites
Cape Cornwall is a good vantage point , probably underwatched, and on `good Pendeen` days will no doubt perform. Access from St.Just , resonable amount of parking.
Lands End is generally not so good (though worth a look). From the north, the birds seem to leave Cape Cornwall & the Brisons and move seawards, passing well offshore at Land End.
Probably fair to say that if its good at Lands End, then you`re missing something pretty spectacular at either Pendeen or Porthgwarra !!
Porthgwarra Feature
Pendeen - Travel Information
From Penzance , take A3071 for St.Just. After Newbridge veer right onto B3318 for Pendeen. At Pendeen, go straight across cross-roads and down unclassified road to Pendeen Lighthouse. Reasonable amount of parking above lighthouse..

Wh Birdwatching Map

Disclaimer About this site Privacy
© terry george 2001