We have listed some the wildlife but there are many more; such a buzzard, sparrow, rabbit, hare, mice, beetles but sightings are necesssary. If you sight anything and would like to share it with everyone please do try to get a good photo and note the location, i.e. is it on Oliver land? or Minack? (coastal path area) or just outside the reserve but along the cliffs etc. We also encourage you to submit your findings to Cornwall Wildlife Trust, see our page on this where you will find details of what to do.
Protected under the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981. The Blackbird is a member of the Thrush family. Males have a bright orange-yellow beak with black plumage whilst females are usually dark brown with spots and streaks on their breasts. It has a mellow song and is one of the most common UK birds. They feed on berries, earthworms and insects. The males will establish a territory during their first year and hold it throughout their lives. The size can be as small as 0.2 hectare. They rear 2-3 broods per year with weather determining the breeding season. Nests are built low down in suitable cover and the season can cover early March to late July, sometimes into August.
Protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the Linnet is classified as Red unlike the Blackbird which is classified as green.
A member of the Finch family its habitat is heathland, scrub and farmland. It feeds on seeds and is present all year round. They build nests in gorse bushes or hedegrows.
The males have brown backs, grey heads and pink foreheads and chests. The females are paler, streaky and do not have the pink patches. The Linnet also has a melodious song.
With a wing span of around 75cm and weight up to 350g they are similar in size to a magpie. They have incredible eyesight and can even see ultraviolet light helping them to see a rodents urine trail to locate their prey on the ground. They eat voles, mice, shrews, birds, invertabraes. Their habitat is usually grassland, farmland, woodland edges, and even urban environments. They do not build nests but rather lay eggs in holes in trees and cliff faces. They are the second most common bird of prey in the UK, the first is the Buzzard.
The Lesser Whitethroat is a protected bird under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Also a member of the warbler family it eats beetles, flies and caterpillars and autumn blackberries and elderberries. They can be found in parklands, gardens, farmland and scrub but are not easy to see as they spend most of their time low down in dense bushes. They are migratory and arrive in the UK around April/May and leave again end of July/September to spend time in north-east Africa. It is a medium sized warbler.
One of the Uk's largest flies it is over 25mm in body length. It feeds on grasshoppers , dung beetles and other flies. Its larvae feed on dung beetle larvae. It is on the list of endangered species. A Priority species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. The use of wormers in cattle, horses and donkeys which transfers harmful chemicals to the dung in which the insects live and that in turn causes death or deformities in the robberfly. There are 28 species of robberfly in the UK this is one of the largest.
A common and widespread bird which is migratory, spending winters, October to March, in sub-Saharan Africa. Arriving back in the UK mid March to May , breeding from April to August. Its song is a simple repetitive descending whistle. The Willow Warbler habitat is open woodlands with ground cover for nesting and shrubs/trees such as blackthorn, birch, alder and willow, bracken and and bramble. Its diet is insects and spiders with fruits and berries in autumn. Also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 its conservation status is Amber.
Image ©Andreas Trepte
Protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 the Dunnock is on the UK conservation list as Amber. It is a member of the small bird family known as 'accentors'. It is often referred to a a hedge sparrow as it resembles a sparrow. But look for a sharper thinner beak and blue-grey head and breast to distinguish it from a sparrow.
The Dunnock has breeding down to almost an art form with besides a male and female, you might find a female breeding with two males, a male breeding with two females or two 'pairs' matching up with another 'pair'. Its habitat is hedgerows, scrub, woodland edges, gardens and parks. You might see it on the ground in low vegetation moving with a rather nervous gait, shuffling its wings as it moves along. It feeds on insects, worms and seeds.
Protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 the Song Thrush is on the UK conservation status as Red.
It is smaller than the mistle thrush with smaller spotting too. It's song has repetitive phrases which mark it out from the blackbird. It east snails which it breaks open by smashing them against a stone as it flicks its head. The breeding season lasts from March to August hand they usually have 2-3 broods per year. The nest is built in any suitable cover of shrubs, trees, creepers on walls and ledges and even on the ground in thick dense vegetation. Territory size is larger 0.2-6 hectares and is established for breeding in late winter, early spring. They can live for 3-4 years although mortality is high with only 60% of adults surviving to breed another year.
The Red fox is the UK's only 'wild dog. It belongs to the Canidae family. They have learned to live alongside humans and now successfully live within towns and cities. In the wild they eat insect and small mammals including birds and watching a fox hunt reminds one of a cat in its method.
I once sighted a red fox, with the most beautiful coat, definitely a male, in Clarence's Meadow.