Birdwatching - Land's End

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Land's End, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean at the furthest western tip of Cornwall, is the first and last extremity of mainland Britain and a famous hotspot for rare birds of passage.

Lands End from the air
Lands End from the air

Autumn and winter are the busiest times of year, when flocks of up to 100 migrating Lesser Black Backed Gulls can usually be seen feeding on an expansive sandy beach under the cliff, together with flocks of Sandwich Terns and small numbers of Sanderling and Ringed Plover. Walking between the beach and the Land's End complex (a distance of about a mile), look out for small flocks of Whimbrel in spring and large numbers of Meadow Pipit in autumn, as well as the resident Wheatear, Stonechat and Linnet.

These cliffs are also home to Fulmars, Peregrine Falcons, Ravens and many different types of Gull, while the offshore Cowloes Reef is a popular roosting site for Gulls, Oystercatchers, Curlew, Whimbrel, Terns, Shags and flocks of Purple and Turnstone Sandpiper.

Gannets, Kittiwakes, Shags and Razorbills are all common out to sea, while the higher ground just inland from the cliffs and beach can yield some exciting treats, too, especially in autumn when birds such as Richard's Pipit and Lapland Bunting often become temporary residents as well as the occasional rarity such as Dotterel, Buff-Breasted Sandpiper, Dark-Bellied Brent Geese, American Golden Plover, a long-staying Dusky Warbler and a flock of Snow Bunting.

To find Land's End simply follow the A30 until you cannot go any further and park at the complex, where there is an RSPB Wildlife Discovery Centre on the top of the cliffs, complete with powerful telescopes, information and a blackboard with the day's recorded sightings. Alternatively there are two car parks at the bottom of the cliffs in Sennen Cove.