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9th June 2023

Wildlife spotting in Falmouth

The Falmouth area is renowned for its natural beauty, but its diverse range of habitats is equally attractive to a whole host of wildlife.

In this part of Cornwall, you needn’t go far to encounter nature at its best. In fact, at Hotel Meudon, you only have to take a step outside.

Our sheltered, nine-acre gardens provide the ideal home for a wide range of wildlife. Here, there’s a lilting chorus of wild birds, from robins, thrushes and blue tits to green and greater spotted woodpeckers. If you amble down through the woodland to Bream Cove, wildlife-spotting opportunities abound. Here, we’ve spotted grey herons, cormorants, little egrets, and oystercatchers – as well as bluefin tuna and playful dolphins enjoying the water. And it doesn’t end there. The wider area around Falmouth includes Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), as well as conservation and protection areas. It’s no surprise, therefore, that you can expect to see a rich selection of wildlife – both at land and at sea.

The Swanpool Nature Reserve, just up from Swanpool Beach, is home to many creatures, thanks to its mix of fresh water and salt water, which is known as “brackish”. There, you can feed the ducks and swans (buy waterfowl food at the beach’s car park hut), while also spotting other water-loving birds like kingfishers, moorhens, and coots.

Kingfisher

If you’re not in a rush, one of the best things you can do is head to a beautiful vantage point such as Pendennis Point, or Pendennis Castle, which sits atop the headland. Then, simply make yourself comfortable while the world (and its wildlife) goes by. If you need help with identification, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust has seasonal spotters’ guides available online.If you prefer to go and seek, head out onto the water for a dedicated wildlife tour with AK Wildlife Cruises. Regular sightings include whales and dolphins, seals, and colonies of puffins, gannets, and other sea birds. You can either spot from the deck or opt for a “Snorkel Safari” to get a unique view on local wildlife from the water. Or, for a land-based experience for all ages, try a rock pool safari with The Rock Pool Project. These are run on Castle Beach and Gyllyngvase Beach, with exciting nighttime options also available. Each safari is led by a marine biologist, who’ll teach you interesting facts and identification skills, while introducing rock pool residents in a fun and family friendly way.

In Falmouth, there’s plenty to see if you take the time to look. The diverse local marine ecosystem supports a huge variety of water-based species, but this year it even made the news when a volunteer rock-pooler spotted a rare rainbow sea slug. Usually found in Spanish and Portuguese waters, it’s an interesting find, but also a poignant marker of our warming seas. This, combined with the fact that we have so many fascinating species in one spot, shows that it’s more important than ever that we support and protect them. Over the coming months, we’ll be running a series of environment-focused events, beginning on Wednesday 7th June with a beach clean and sustainable wine and dine lunch with Sea Change Wine. For full details of what’s coming up, check our events pages.

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