Wildlife at Sun Haven Valley, Cornwall
If you have a wildlife picture that you would like to see displayed on this pages, send them to us!! Our email is SunHaven@sunhavenvalley.com
You can't stay in the gorgeous Cornish Countryside and not experience some of the Wildlife! We are in such a great location that we can enjoy creatures from land and sea within easy reach. Keen photographers have spent many a holiday scouting and trawling to find the local wildlife but here, really, the wildlife finds you. If you wanted to witness some of the more exciting animals listed below you will need to be very patient and keep your eyes peeled, but we can assure that they're all here, and even if we haven't witnessed them ourselves our customers definitely have.
Oh no, your eyes do not deceive. We have what we lovingly refer to as the "Sun Haven Zoo" and you'll find many of these little rascals running around and squeaking here. They are harmless and happy to roam the site in pursuit of tasty morsels so please stick to the speed limits imposed on site for the sake of our guinea pigs as well as our guests.
There are at least two badger setts within a mile of the park, possibly as many as 6, one of which is adjacent to a nearby public footpath. One of our regular holidaymakers often waits for them at dusk and gets good photographs. They are often seen running along the local roads after the sun has gone down and we know of at least two places where they have 'runs' through the park - during the Autumn we usually have to fill in the holes they have dug in our lawns to find food.
We only occasionally see them on site and your best chance to see them is first or last light , especvially on the footpaths to either Mawgan Porth Beach or into St Mawgan.
We are too far from Dartmoor to see Red Deer but occasionally you'll see Roe Deer. You'll notice evidence of them through the woodland walk, and if you're bringing a dog then you'll be able to tell when they pick up a scent. If ever you needed to be cajoled into an early morning stroll, then consider this as goos a reason as any! And if you are unlucky, then you'll still have a beautiful beachfront to take pictures of in the sunrise...
Dolphins are frequent visitors to the Cornish coast and are quite often
seen outside Newquay Harbour - see http://www.newquayharbourseals
.co.uk/ for more details, including the best time of year to spot them!
Are there Otters in the river ? We've never had direct sightings on the park but there have been sightings in the River Menathyl in the next valley across ( into which our stream runs) The Cornwall Wildlife Trusts Environmental Consultants informed us that there are otters in nearly all the rivers in Cornwall. If you want to be sure to see them then of course Tamar Otter Sanctuary would welcome you, they also keep a large family in a very nice enclosure at Newquay Zoo and the National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek.
We have a transient population - sometimes seen on the hill opposite and occasionally on the camping field. We are always keeping an eye out for the foxes, mostly because of our lovely looking animals on the lawns...
A strangely adorable little pest. We often spend the winterclearing up after these little troublemakers, and you might notice the remains of adventurous burrows along the roadside to the entrance, but they are of course part of living in the countryside and we actually quite like them!
A lucky and rare shot of a still bat! In reality you'll have to pay attention even to see the flickering blur of a bat catching insects in the dusk.We see bats on warm evenings, but as yet do not know which sort. Of the 16 species of bat found in the UK, 12 have been recorded in Cornwall. The most common specie found here is the Greater Horseshoe which can be found roosting within the honeycomb of redundant tin mines and old farm buildings.
We have erected bat boxes on site. Unfortunately we do not know if they are being used; we cannot check as they become legally protected as soon as they are used.
We certainly have some in the river - but not many and only about 6 inches long. Usually you'll see them dart for cover in the clear water as your shadow falls across the water. We do ask you not to fish for them, but if you were interested in fishing we are directly next to a coarse fishing lake. You'll find plenty of Minnows here too, but don't be tempted to fish, they are protected by the Environmental Health Agency.
These little things are soo cute but also very shy! You are unlikely to see any as they will scarper under heavy cover if they detect human activity. They are active little things - watching them climb a smooth steel rod to reach a bird feeder full of peanuts is an entertaining sequence. For other entertaining sequences, ask Nina or Grant how they know for sure there are field mice here...
Cornwall have colonies of Grey Seals and they can frequently be seen
bobbing in the sea at various points. Newquay harbour has several residents
& If you at lunch on the terrace at "The Fort inn" in Newquay you
will often get to see appealing for fish from returning boats. see http://www.newquay
- Of course the National Seal Sanctuary has a selection held in captivity - either recovering from injury or too disabled to ever be returned to the wild.
You can expect to see many birds on our site, thanks to our seaside and countryside location, and we have plenty of houses and feeding stations to encourage their return. As well as your frequent garden visitors (such as blue tits, blackbirds and chaffinches) you should also see plenty of other more exotic and rarely sighted birds! We can't guarantee you will see all of the following during your stay with us, but the keenest and more patient of you should see most of them. These birds have all been sighted by ourselves and our guests!
Gluvian Farm Barn Owl
The Barn owls breed in the buildings of a nearby farm and are often seen at dawn or dusk hunting for mice and voles, both on our campsite & in neighbouring fields. Since Barn Owls need a radius of about 5 miles of grazed farmland in order to maintain their food supply it is unlikely that we will ever have a resident pair in our owl - boxes but they might well be used for an occasional nights roosting.
These are a shy bird but are often seen in the North - West corner of the campsite. There is a pair that regularly nest on the other side of the river.
WoodpeckerNormally quite shy the "Greater Spotted Woodpecker" spends most of it's time clinging to the sides of trees trying to hide itself - but is a frequent winter visitor thanks to the bird feeders we have hanging near reception.
Our resident sparrowhawks frequently hunt over the park & visitors have seen them both catching & eating small song - birds on various parts of the park
Admittedly nothing too special here - but they are quite numerous and their calls around the campsite have become part of the park.
If you see these you're not hallucinating, they are probably the escapees from our bird aviary next to the Children's Play Area! You can also see cockatiel and quails in our home built hut.
The Herring Gull
The ones we regretfully DON'T want to see on the park. The most frequent gull in Cornwall they are a beautiful sight and have a wonderful cry on the clifftops - but in the town are known to "attack" to steal food - most seafront councils & shop-owners regard them as a serious nuisance. By all means enjoy them, they are part of Cornwall, but please do not leave food out or scatter food scraps/waste about as the Herring Gulls become a serious nuisance.
This fellow makes frequent visits: firstly for a light appetiser of brown trout from our stream then onto the main coarse - fishing lakes next door! Fortunately he hasn't yet found our goldfish in the fountain - but it might be that "Cedric", our metal Heron, looks a little more fearsome to another Heron than he does to us...
They get seen often enough to let us know they come hunting the brown trout in the stream - but we ourselves have only seen that spectacular flash of blue just the once!
Both in the park & fields next door. Partridge are usually hunting the long grass for insects & seeds. You'll find they are emboldened by the presence of our "animal farm" and can actually be quite tame!
Just off the Cornish cliffs they're occasional presence should be no surprise. Whilst our bird - identification skills are probably not good enough to identify this once - endangered species but we have had 3 reported sightings.
Both in the park & fields next door. The pheasants are usually here to eat our grass seed and nibble on some duck pellets. You'll find they are emboldened by the presence of our "animal farm" and can actually be quite tame!
During the camping season a family of buzzards circle above the park in rising thermals on an almost daily basis. Their mewing sound can be clearly heard and often they are mobbed by other birds trying to chase them away. In the quieter times of the year they often sit on the lamp posts & trees on our campsite
With the stream at the bottom of the field we have Moorhens of course. We have at least two pairs who can often be seen hunting for worms & insects at dawn, dusk and when the park is quiet.
The house martins nest both under the eaves of the chalets & in our garage loft - frequently seen flying around the park catching insects. You might see them and mistake them for a swallow (pictured above) as they also reside here.
Often witnessed hovering over surrounding fields, we assume their sharp eyes are looking for that little field mouse - either that or the rest of that sandwich you left outside..!
The organic farm next door keeps them - well keeps them for as long as the fox doesn't get them - but you may well get them chattering at your front door for scraps as they often fly over the adjoining hedge. Honestly, their call is nto very pleasant
Bugs, bugs everywhere!
The small things that make the world go round.
Not everybody loves them, we admit. But before you reach for the slug pellets or the fly swatter, here are a few facts that might make you change your mind:
So it's no exaggeration to say that they make the world go round.
Everyone needs somewhere to live, including bugs. In fact, invertebrates are happy to live in many places we would steer clear of, including brackish (salty) ditches, dead fungus and rotten wood. In each habitat they carry out a number of functions which help to maintain a healthy environment, from recycling decaying matter such as wood and vegetation, to enhancing soil fertility and helping keep rivers clean.
( Copied from www.Buglife.org )
- One in three mouthfuls of our food depends upon insect pollination
- Honey, chocolate, coffee, silk - just some of the luxuries that wouldn't exist without invertebrates
- Ninety percent of wildflowers could be threatened with extinction if there were not invertebrates to pollinate them
- Bugs are a vital food source for wild animals and birds - our countryside would be an empty, silent place without them.
There are some 20 species of Damsel Fly in the UK - what we have we haven't identified - but they are very pretty.
WHAT IS IT ?!
It's a "Humming Bird Hawk Moth" seen by Neil Mitchell on our hanging baskets in July 2008. They migrate between the Mediterranean and Northern UK. Flying by day, they like bright sunlight and stop for flowers with a plentiful supply of nectar - such as petunias, honeysuckle and budliah. It is said they have remarkable memories so keep watch around July 6th !!
If you've seen something and we haven't got it listed, please do let us know! You can also send your wildlife pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org - we love to share!
If you love wildlife and want to guarantee yourself a sighting, there's so many Wildlife Sanctuaries in the local area including
- Screech Owl Sanctuary near St Columb
- The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow
- The Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay
- Newquay Zoo
- The Cornish Birds of Prey Centre near Newquay
- The Tortoise Garden near St Austell
- Tamar Otter Wildlife Centre near Lanceston
- The Woolly Monkey Sanctuary near Looe
- Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital & Sanctuary
- The National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek
More information about Wildlife in North Cornwall