Wildlife in St Ives Bay

Tash Murch

We are really lucky to be surrounded by sea and moorland in Cornwall, which is matched with a variety of wildlife too. Just in and around St Ives you have a high chance of seeing some lovely wildlife. We have put together a short list of things you may see within a 10 minute walk from our luxury self catering cottages in St Ives.



Just a walk along St Ives harbour can offer you sights of both local and migratory birds including friendly Turnstones, Pied Wagtails, and a variety of Gulls including - Herring Gull, Black Backed Gull and Black Headed Gull.  But be careful if your eating in the harbour as the Seagulls, also known as the Herring Gull may be after your ice cream!

Venturing around St Ives along to The Island; which is about a 5-10 minute walk from the harbour, you have will have the opportunity to see many more species of birds. These include; Sparrows, Starlings, Crows, Goldfinch and the occasional visit from a bird of prey over head, such as Kestrels.

Starlings are a stunning bird with a black and iridescent plumage, sparking and changing colour in the light. They are noisy and can often be seen in flocks, creating an impressive sight when in flight.

One of the smallest birds of prey is the Kestrel. They look stunning with their light-brown spotted coat and can usually be found hovering above you in search of prey.



Looking out to sea from the top of the island you will be treated to views of the whole bay, a great location to look for seabirds. Many seabirds sighted here are migratory birds, meaning they are only visitors to the bay. Regular sightings include Gannets, Auks, Kittiwake, Terns and Fulmer.

Regularly spotted in the bay are Gannets, with a huge wingspan of up to 2 meters. They have a yellow head and blue eyelid - amazing birds. Watching them feeding is even more special, seeing them dive into the sea at high speeds for their dinner.

Auks, one of the smallest family of seabirds can also be spotted. Although you may need a pair of binoculars, as if they are not close to shore, due to their size some can be tricky to see. The two main Auks sighted here are the Guillemot and RazorBill, both very similar in appearance. A dark black/brown bird with a white belly. The main difference between the two being the size of their bill.


Marine Life

It’s not just birds to be seen, being surrounded by the sea, St Ives also gets visits from a variety of marine life including Cetacean’s such as dolphins and whales, and seals too.

A regular visitor around the bay is the Grey Seal, one of the two main species of seal in the UK. Although, seen regularly they are actually a global rare species, and are a beautiful creature to watch swimming out at sea.

Also spotted in the bay, have been Common Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins, although not predictable if you are lucky to see these amazing marine mammals you will be in awe. Common dolphins can grow up to 2 meters, often being seen in large groups, whilst Bottlenose Dolphins can grow much bigger, up to 4 meters.

We hope you get to see some of the amazing wildlife St Ives and Cornwall has to offer when staying with us.