Bird & Wildlife Watching
Go wild for our amazing birds, animals and marine life
Amongst the unspoilt landscape of Scilly flourishes a wonderful array of animals, birds and marine life. From puffins, seals, and Manx Shearwaters, to Scilly Shrews, Scilly bees, rare dragonflies, shags and guillemots together with a raft of rare migrating birds that pass through in October every year, Scilly is a treasure trove of incredible wildlife for everyone to enjoy.
The Isles of Scilly are one of the best places in Britain to spot birds. In addition to Scilly's native feathered friends, the islands are also an important staging post for migrating birds, particularly in October, the best month for more unusual sightings. The red-breasted flycatcher, yellow-browed warbler, wryneck, Richard's pipit, pectoral sandpiper and the Lapland bunting might even make an appearance. Birders from all over the country come to Scilly hoping to spot their own birding highlights, and enjoy evening bird logs to report sightings and rarities.
The islands are a particularly special place for Manx shearwaters, the islands being one of only two places in England where they breed. In the last 25 years, numbers here had been dwindling. But that was before the launch in November 2013 of the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project, which is reversing the drop in numbers of seabirds having successfully removed invasive brown rats from St Agnes and Gugh. One particular highlight came in the summer of 2014 when the project announced that the first Manx Shearwater chicks in a generation had successfully fledged from the islands.
Resident ornithologists and nature guides on the islands run regular bird and wildlife walks around each of the inhabited islands, some stopping off at local pubs and cafes for refreshment on the way.
Pelagic boat trips are also popular with birders as they offer the chance to watch seabirds up close and personal. The St. Mary's Boatmen, and boat services based on all the off islands run trips from spring to autumn, often encountering puffins - particularly prevalent throughout May and June, Manx shearwaters, guillemots, shags and razorbills.
Our resident Atlantic Grey Seals, too, are a great island draw. Taking a boat trip to see the seals on the Eastern Isles or Western Rocks is always a treat. And if you fancy an up-close experience, you can snorkel with seals or dive down to other marine life on our reefs and shipwrecks.