Wildlife to watch for on winter walks
Written by The Cormorant Hotel
Our hotel is located in a fantastic area of the countryside and coastal walking, with many routes in easy access from our doorstep. And if you are looking to spot some wildlife while on your winter walks, remember your camera and binoculars.
In January, the number of wintering wading birds reach their peak. Thousands of birds from around Europe arrive on Cornwall's shores and estuaries to take advantage of the rich pickings on the mudflats and saltmarshes. In the south-east areas of Cornwall, look out for the avocet. The elegant black and white birds using their upturned bills to sieve through the water at low tide to find food.
Head inland to wooded areas if you are looking to see robins and other songbirds on your walk. The paths around the outskirts of Fowey are uncrowded in January and provide more opportunities to see the flashing red breast of one of Britain's favourite birds.
January is one of the best times to see roe deer, especially at the Cabilla and Redrice Woods Nature Reserve near Bodmin. These small deer were at one time extinct in the wild throughout England but are now thriving again due to an increase in woodland habitat. The best time to spot them is at dusk or dawn as they are shy, solitary animals.
The Nature Reserve near Bodmin is also great for seeing squirrels. The grey with its big fluffy tail is easy to spot, and you are sure to come across a few when walking the woods wrapped up in your winter gear.
January is when you can spot the first snowdrops of the year. Snowdrops are often regarded as the first flowers of spring, and you can also find them at the Cabilla and Redrice Woods Nature Reserve, which is just a short drive from our hotel. There is some debate about whether snowdrops are native to Britain or not, but they have certainly made their home in Cornwall. They grow free in the wild and add a certain charm to a woodland coming back to life after the winter sleep.
Cornish woods are also worth visiting again later in the year when they are covered in daffodils in March or bluebells in April and May.
Image by: Ian Joseph