Feeling an itch to twitch? Britain is one of the most rewarding places in the world to spot wild birds, and in summer our coastline is teeming with feathery visitors. These glorious walks will let you spot puffins, choughs, oystercatchers and more. Don’t forget your binoculars.
Bird watching experts Kennedy Wild Bird Food have put together a list of some of the best summer coastal walks on the wild shores and tiny islands that are home to some of Britain’s most beautiful wild birds.
1. Brownsea Island, Dorset
It may be a short hop from Poole but Brownsea is a world away from the mainland. Now managed by the National Trust, this storybook island has become a haven for wildlife.
What to spot: Expect to see summer breeding birds such as sandwich terns, gulls and little egrets. If you’re lucky you may even be able to spot a colourful kingfisher dipping in and out of the reed beds.
Best bird walk: Gps Route’s circular walk takes you around the entire island, passing bird hides you can pop into to wait for feathered sightings. Keep eyes peeled for red squirrels, too.
2. Lizard Point, Cornwall
The rocky cliff edges of southern Cornwall give you vast views of Britain’s turquoise blue oceans and the seabirds that live above its waves and nest in the cliffs.
What to spot: Some of the country’s rarest birds, including the Cornish chough. You may also be able to catch a glimpse of puffins along your route.
Best bird walk: This 7-mile National Trust coastal walk begins at gorgeous Kynance Cove and skirts the rugged coastline.
3. Farne Islands, Northumberland
Rugged and windswept, the Farne Islands feel more like they belong in Game of Thrones than just off the Northumberland Coast, and a boat trip to this mini ecosystem, inhabited only by wild sea birds, seals, dolphins and a handful of rangers, is a journey into another world.
What to spot: If you’ve always wanted to spot a puffin in its natural habitat then this is the place to go. See some of my shots from my visit here – a camera is a must.
Best bird walk: Viewranger’s route around Inner Farne takes you along boardwalks that get you up close to the charming resident puffins.
4. Bardsey Island, Wales
If you find yourself in the far corners of north-west Wales it’s worth jumping on over to Bardsey Island – this peaceful place is an amazing escape from real life. Tiny but holy, it’s known as the ‘island of 20,000 saints’. Now it shelters wildlife instead.
What to spot: Another great place to catch a glimpse of puffins and choughs, as well as Manx shearwaters and adorable grey seals.
Best bird walks Fancy an epic walk? Follow the 12-mile route once trodden by pilgrims.
5. Anglesey, Wales
Wild and untamed Anglesey in North Wales is a land of remote beaches, ancient history and a very healthy bird population. Its bays, estuaries and dunes are teeming with wild birds as well as wild flowers and red squirrels.
What to spot: Breeds such as the rare black lark, oystercatchers, warblers and wrens.
Best bird walk: Try Countryfile’s route along the northern coast from Cemaes to spot oystercatchers.