Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate with flexible start and finish times. 5+ miles walking per day

Group Size:

Seven plus leader

Dartford Warbler Balearic Shearwater Alpine Swift Red-rumped Swallow Dunlin Kentish Plover Cetti's Warbler Whinchat

Cornwall & Scilly - The Best of the South West

Date: 16th - 24th April 2020 (SPACES)
Leaders: Paul Roberts




Travel to Cornwall. You should aim to arrive at approximately noon for check in at our accommodation, followed by dinner.

Overnight Bosavern Farm



Following breakfast, we will make an excursion to Marazion Marsh, Mounts Bay and the Hayle Estuary if the tide times are in our favour. Here we will be searching for a selection of migrant shorebirds, terns, gulls, warblers and possibly scarcer species such as Eurasian Spoonbill, Kentish Plover and Purple Heron, while resident species include Reed Bunting, Common Kingfisher, Water Rail, Little Egret and Cetti’s Warbler among others. A few seabirds may be passing offshore and there is always the chance of a lingering Great Northern or Red-throated Diver in the bay. We will then use the rest of the day to catch up with any scarce migrants or rarities present in the area - Subalpine Warbler, Glossy Ibis and Woodchat Shrike were all seen on last years tour. 

Overnight Bosavern Farm



We will spend our time exploring the valleys and headlands around St Just and Lands End for migrants and we will also spend some time on the Lizard Peninsula. It would not be entirely unexpected to find species with a Mediterranean flavour here as Woodchat Shrike, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Black-winged Stilt, Night Heron, Red-rumped Swallow or Golden Oriole can all occur, though of course these are uncommon birds and an element of good fortune would be needed for us to find them. Garganey, Dotterel, Whimbrel, Spotted Flycatcher, Ring Ouzel, Grasshopper Warbler and Whinchat are among the more interesting of the more expected migrants, while Chough and Dartford Warbler are resident species. A variety of seabirds can be expected including Gannets, Kittiwakes, Common Guillemot and Razorbill, while a few passage terns and shearwaters are usually noted, and species lingering from winter could include Black Redstart, Purple Sandpiper and Iceland Gull. Recent rarities at this time have included Brown Shrike, Bonaparte’s Gull, Greater Short-toed Lark, Citrine Wagtail, Black Kite and Montagu’s Harrier. Whatever we see, it is sure to be an exciting experience if the winds are in our favour.



We check out this monring and after catching up with any last minute goodies locally, we catch a flight over to St Mary's on Scilly from Land's End Aerodrome. After check in, we head out on foot to explore the island, and to get to grips with any good birds already present. There are excellent spots for migrants not far from our accommodation, such as Holy Vale and the beaches at Porth Hellick and Porthloo. Regular passerine migrants in the wooded areas include Firecrest, Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart, as well as a host of common migrant warblers. The hide at Porth Hellick overlooks freshwater pools where wading birds and herons sometimes pause on migration - a Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, scarce heron such as Purple or Night Heron, or even a crake wouldn't be totally unexpected! In the open areas, around the tip of The Garrison and Penninis Head, species such as Northern Wheatear, Whinchat and scarcities such as Woodchat Shrike, Hoopoe and Wryneck frequently appear in spring, while the skies above should be checked for that stray Alpine Swift or Red-rumped Swallow! After a long day of exploration, a hearty meal and drinks in one of the local hostelrys in town will be a welcome end to the day. Overnight Mincarlo Guest House.



Today we will take our first inter-island boat excursion over to Tresco. This affluent and beautiful island is also great for birding, and we will scan the water as we sail between the islands for a lingering scoter or passage terns and auks. Once on the island, we will visit the Great Pool, another good spot for rare wildfowl and waders to appear. Heading on foot around the island, we will explore the wooded areas for passerine migrants, keeping our options open at all times! As on the other days, we will take a packed lunch with us and hopefully on a sunny day, we can enjoy this overlooking the clear blue waters looking back across to St Mary's. The key to success is flexibility - should a good bird appear on one of the other islands, we may have to change our plans at short notice! Overnight Mincarlo Guest House.



We will make visits to the islands of St Agnes and St Martins in pursuit of our own birds, and in between we will revisit some areas on St Mary's too. The hides at Lower Moors should also be checked for wetland species - scarce herons often drop in during spring, and who knows what else could appear. The heavily wooded parts of The Garrison are also great for flycatchers and warblers, and require frequent checking whenever we can. Sometimes a circular walk from here around to the airfield and back through Porth Hellick is a productive route, taking in woodland, scrub, open heath, grassland and marshy habitats. On one of the evenings, we will take a boat trip on board The Sapphire [one of the inter-island boats skippered by Joe Pender and famous for the short range pelagic trips during summer and autumn]. This should not only give us lovely views of the islands from the water, but give us the chance to see a few seabirds, such as Manx Shearwater, Puffin and maybe Storm Petrel, which have small populations around the isles. Overnight Mincarlo Guest House.



This morning we return to Land's End aerodrome and here the tour will conclude. 


Additional Information


Eight nights en suite accommodation, meals from dinner on day one to breakfast on final day, ground transport, Pelagic trip, return flights Conrwall/Scilly, services of leaders and reserve entrance fees.

Travel to/ from Devon and Cornwall, travel insurance, drinks, lunch on day one and items of a purely personal nature.

Binoculars, telescope, camera, spare memory card and battery, clothing for all weathers, small rucksack, field guide, alarm clock and a thermos flask if required.




Tour Reports


 2019 Cornwall  2019 Scilly 




" A really enjoyable trip with great birds, good company and excellent service at Bosavern House" R H Leicester


" Thanks very much for you all your hard work last week Neil - it was very enjoyable" S M Oxford


" Another excellent trip with excellent birds on each occasion I have done this trip - J.B. Sussex