The Camel Estuary, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that enters the sea near Padstow, provides an excellent habitat for birds. Large areas of salt marsh encourage a variety of winter waders, while on the mudflats at low tide you can often see members of what was Britain's very first colony of Little Egrets.
Peregrines are commonly spotted, as is a migrant Osprey, breaking his journey for a few days of fishing and swimming in spring and autumn. Mute Swans nest at several locations, including a small island near the bridge in the centre of Wadebridge, and several types of duck, including Shelduck, Shoveller, Teal and Mallard, make the estuary their home. An American Belted Kingfisher was spotted here in the 1980s, for only the second time in Britain, while native Kingfishers can be seen further up the river and on several of its tributaries.
There are a number of purpose-built hides on the estuary with those on the Camel Trail open to the public.