Wildlife to spot in Bude
Have you ever spotted something rare or beautiful when visiting Bude? It is a brilliantly varied place to see wildlife, whether it is furred, feathered or finned. With our famously mild winters, you’ll also see many species year round here in north Cornwall, including some genuine rarities. If you don’t believe us, take a look at our Bude in the news section, which includes an extremely rare pine marten from 2014, a species previously thought to be extinct in the south west! We also have a special section on nature reserves, featuring some great wildlife sites in north Cornwall. Here are some other beautiful wild reasons to keep your eyes peeled and a camera handy on your next visit (tag your photos @visitbude or #WeAreBude to share on Twitter and Facebook) :
Where to find me: On Bude Canal or the River Neet
Look out for: Paw prints and droppings by the water.
Otters have made a huge comeback in the last decade or so, but with a shy nature they are not always easy to spot. Unmistakable in appearance (and sometimes large in the case of the male “dog” otter), your best chance to sight one is at night or during times of low light when old “Tarka” likes to go on the prowl. He might look cute, but the otter is a powerful predator that eats not only fish but amphibians and nesting birds.
Where to find me: On a quiet, rocky beach or estuary mud.
Look out for: A funky (and functional) red bill.
Quite often spotted in breeding pairs in the summer, the coast around Bude is a great place to spot your first oyster catcher. The distinctive red bill of this pretty bird allows it to pry or break open its favourite meal: shellfish of various kinds. That said, birds will also travel inland to pick worms from the sand and mud of Cornish estuaries.
Where to find me: In quiet coves and rocky beaches
Look out for: The patterns on my coat, that are as unique as a fingerprint to each seal.
Often seen in small colonies, grey seals are found in little pockets right along the coast of north Cornwall. You are most likely to spot them on quiet, wild beaches however, as they can be very wary of humans. Sometimes they will also mix with common seals, but the grey has a longer, broader snout and flatter head.
Where to find me: In the open sea.
Look out for: A huge, dark shape!
Impressively big in size and weight, you are unlikely to ever see a larger living thing in British waters than the basking shark. In spite of the vast profile and mean looks however, these giants are completely harmless. By gliding along with their mouths open, these monsters gently take in all the food they need, filtering plankton through their gill rakers.
Did you know? Basking sharks are the second biggest fish in the world. Older adult individuals can reach over ten metres long!
Where to find me: On the edges of Bude Marshes
Look out for: Visiting bees (they can’t resist me)
One of nature’s truly ingenious designs, the Bee Orchid has actually evolved bee-like hues on the flowers to attract the real thing for pollination. Velvety to the touch and with pink outer petals, it is a beautiful and hardy little plant. It thrives in wild grassland, especially near the coast.