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.

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Wildlife Safari with St Agnes Boating ~ © BareFoot Photographer

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

St. Mary's All year

Scilly's Wildlife is varied and everchanging; from the resident Scilly Shrew and Atlantic Grey Seals to the migratory swallows and puffins.  Whatever you're searching for why not join one of our team on a Wildlife excursion or guided walk and discover Scilly's wild side.Read more »

Picture of Island Sea Safaris RIB boat Firebrand IV

Island Sea Safaris

St. Mary's Apr-Oct

Island Sea Safaris operate marine wildlife safaris in their RIB FIREBRAND IV around and amongst the islands and rocks of Scilly to see Grey Atlantic seals and numerous seabirds including Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Shearwares, Fulmars, Cormorants,Shags,Gannets and various Gulls from April to mid July, and visit some the Islands shipwreck sites and places of historical interest.The 8m RIB seats 10 passengers. Mark and his wife Susie like to give you a full, friendly and informative commentary during the trip which also has lots of good photo opportunities. Read more »

Island Wildlife Tours

St. Mary's Apr-Oct

Discover the natural beauty of the Isles of Scilly with Will Wagstaff, resident ornithologist and naturalist.  Watch the passage of migrant birds; learn about the interesting local history and beautiful flora and fauna as you take a relaxed walk along the Islands' coasts and trails. Will visits each of the inhabited islands weekly, weather and tides permittingRead more »

St Agnes Boating Wildlife Safaris

St. Agnes Apr-Sep

St Agnes Boating is working with the Seabird Recovery Project and the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust to promote the island’s wildlife. Every Wednesday we have a Wildlife Trust Ranger onboard who is our guide. The Spirit travels to Annet, the protected island where the seabirds nest and then onto the Western Rocks towards the Bishop Rock Lighthouse every Wednesday afternoon. Puffins, Manx Shearwaters and other nesting seabirds should be seen from April to July.  Come along to find out why our customers say this trip is exciting, educational, informative and fun! Read more »