Hayle Estuary is a famous bird watching site - with large numbers of waders and seabirds being recorded annually. This most south-westerly estuary in the UK is a good place to watch birds in autumn and winter. The estuary never freezes and in cold winters, as many as 18,000 birds have been seen here. It is an important location for over-wintering ducks, including widgeons, teals and shelducks. Wading birds such as dunlins, curlews and grey plovers spend the winter here.
Hayle is most definitely an all-year round bird-watching venue. Spring and particularly autumn can be very interesting with passage migrants and regular rarities; whilst winter sees many over wintering waders. Owned by the RSPB, this is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is renowned as a great birding area. There is a hide overlooking Ryan's Field towards the south of the main estuary, which is best viewed at high tide.