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Scilly Isles for Nature Lovers: Birdwatching, Wildflowers and more!

Updated: Mar 7

Welcome to a virtual journey through the natural wonders of the Isles of Scilly, often referred to as the "Galápagos of the UK." Nestled off the southwestern coast of England, these islands are a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts. But to fully immerse yourself in the marvels of Scilly Isles bird watching and wildlife encounters, you need the perfect base - that's where our accommodation in the Scilly Isles comes in.

Scilly Isles Bird Watching

Birdwatchers will be in their element on the Isles of Scilly, as the islands are a magnet for rare and migratory bird species, especially in the Autumn, when birds get blown off course through Atlantic storms and land on Scilly as a safe haven. This season, in particular, brings an influx of visitors to see the rare Blue-footed Booby that made the islands its home for a couple of months. However, visitors enjoy an incredible amount of sea birds and other birds all year round on the islands.

Puffins - The Charismatic Seabirds

Puffins are one of the most iconic birds in the Isles of Scilly. These charming seabirds, with their distinctive black and white plumage and colourful beaks, make their homes in burrows along a few islands, with the uninhabited island of Annet being their stronghold. Although you cannot land on Annet for conservation reasons, various operators will take you to see the birds as they do their business along her coast. Spring and early summer are the best times to spot puffins, as they come to the islands to breed.

Atlantic Grey Seals

The crystal-clear waters around the Isles of Scilly are home to a thriving population of Atlantic grey seals. These playful marine mammals can often be spotted basking on the rocky shores or swimming gracefully in the surrounding seas. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of seal pups during the breeding season. Scilly Seal Snorkelling offers an experience off the island of St Martins, where you shall don a wetsuit, snorkel and goggles and enjoy an amazing experience with these friendly creatures.

Wildflowers and Insects

The Isles of Scilly are a haven for fauna and a paradise for flora and insects. With a mild climate, the islands support a rich array of wildflowers, which adorn the landscape in a riot of colours.

Scillonian flowers are famous again due to their mild climate and have been present in London markets like Covent Garden for years. Plenty of working flower farms send mostly scented Narcissi to all parts of the UK and further afield. These flowers, in turn, attract a diverse range of butterflies, bees, and other insects.

The Scilly Shrew

The Scilly shrew was once thought to be endemic to the islands as they were cut off from the mainland. However, results have shown them to be on the Channel Islands as well, with the name Lesser white-toothed shrew. It's rare to see them wandering around; however, locals often see them in farm outbuildings and sheds.

Underwater Wonders

The clear waters surrounding the Isles of Scilly are a dream come true for snorkelers and divers. Beneath the surface, a world of marine life unfolds. Seagrass beds, kelp forests, and colourful anemones create a vibrant underwater ecosystem. Watch for shy seahorses, inquisitive cuttlefish, and shoals of silverfish as you explore the sea's hidden treasures. The islands also have the highest amounts of shipwrecks for their area anywhere in the world. Intrepid divers who might be lucky enough to find a conger eel can reach and explore many.

Red Squirrels - The Islands' Exclusive Residents

The Isles of Scilly are one of the few places in England where red squirrels thrive. They were reintroduced to Tresco Island in 2013. These charming creatures can often scurry through the woodlands near the Tresco Abbey Gardens, foraging for food. Their presence is a testament to the islands' commitment to conservation.

Tresco Abbey Gardens

The Abbey Gardens on Tresco are world-renowned for their beauty and landscaping of amazing flowers, ferns, palm trees and other botanical delights. Augustus Smith collected them from around the world in the 19th century and established them around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey—an absolute must-see for any island visitor.

Dolphin and Whale Watching

The waters around the Isles of Scilly teem with life, including dolphins and whales. Boat tours and wildlife cruises offer a chance to witness these majestic marine mammals in their natural habitat. Common sightings include Common and Bottlenose dolphins, minke whales, and even the occasional humpback whale. In recent years the giant Atlantic Bluefin tuna have come back into the waters around the islands, and seeing these huge apex predators attacking a bait ball is an incredible wildlife experience, often joined in the feast by gannets and other sea birds along with Dolphins.

In conclusion, the Isles of Scilly are a true paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. From charismatic puffins and curious seals to rare birds and vibrant marine life, these islands offer diverse natural wonders that will leave you awe-inspired.

And as you plan your adventure, don't forget the importance of choosing the right accommodation in the Scilly Isles. A comfortable and convenient base enhances your experience, allowing you to fully enjoy the stunning avian and marine life that graces these beautiful isles. So, pack your binoculars, book your stay, and embark on an unforgettable journey to explore the enchanting wildlife of the Isles of Scilly.

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