Bird-watching in the Tamar Valley

We’ve just submitted our entry for this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2018, so now seems as good a time as any to share with you our surprising findings, along with a few thoughts about the wonderful bird-watching opportunities in the area.


It’s definitely one of the joys of living somewhere so rural and unspoilt – the amazing array of British birds, the dawn chorus, and the constant stream of visitors to our bird-tables.  

Once again, we have grabbed our binoculars and taken part in the Big Garden Bird-watch.  Not all of our regular visitors made an appearance – such is luck – but we were still pleased with the results.  A total of 14 different species – one more than last year!

  • Blackbird:  ​ ​1
  • Magpie:   1
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker:   1
  • Wood Pigeon:   1​
  • Coal Tit:   1
  • Great Tit:   1
  • Blue Tit:   2
  • Robin:   2
  • Dunnock:   2
  • Marsh Tit:   2
  • Siskin:   3
  • Sparrow:   5
  • Starling:   24
  • Goldfinch:   29

We were very surprised to see that this year, Goldfinch topped our list.  They do tend to congregate in small flocks, and they are certainly drawn to the Niger seed when we put it out, but this is the first year we’ve had such numbers.  

​So those were our feathered friends that decided to show up, but we’ve got a little list of those we were half expecting as well.  All of these characters have been spotted in our grounds, but obviously had somewhere better to be on the day:


  • Fieldfairs (a couple of weeks ago we saw dozens with a flock of starlings)
  • Nut-hatch
  • Bull Finch
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Barn Owl (OK, we’ll be fair – we weren’t really expecting to spot any, but we have at least one resident family in our Owl box!)
  • Chaffinch
  • Greenfinch
  • Wren
  • Buzzard
  • Sparrowhawk (just as well we didn’t spot one of these, as we wouldn’t have seen much else!)
  • Cuckoo
  • House Martin
  • Thrush
  • Swallow
  • Swift
  • Rook
  • Tawny Owl
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Redpoll
  • Jay

​Many of our guests come armed with binoculars to make the most of the bird-watching and wildlife watching opportunities in the area.  We have the Cornish coastal birds, the birds of Dartmoor and Bodmin moor, birds that enjoy the lakes of Roadford and Tamar Lakes, and birds that enjoy mud flats lower down the Tamar, all within a short drive.

In the local area, we’ve been lucky enough to see all of the following at one point or other:


And many more!  If you fancy learning more about Cornish birds, we can recommend the Cornish Birding website here.  If you’ve visited Cornwall, we’d love to know what birds you’ve spotted on your travels about the county.