Marazion Marsh is the most southerly RSPB reserve in the UK, famous for Aquatic Warblers (of which more than 170 have been spotted on the site) and, more recently, the presence of rare Bittern, for which the EU has granted the site SPA (Special Protection Area) status. The reserve, which stands opposite St Michael’s Mount, just two miles east of Penzance, is a rich freshwater habitat that incorporates Cornwall’s largest reedbed.
Herons nest here (unusually, as they normally build their nests high in trees), while Cetti’s Warbler (who breed on the site) Chiffchaff and Little Egret are among the other more exciting residents. Great swirling flocks of several million Starling come here to roost in the run up to Christmas and New Year, closely watched by their predators, such as Sparrowhawk and Peregrines, an unmissable sight, while autumn sees the passage of common waders such as Sanderling, as well as Sea Ducks and Grebes.
Only a road separates the marsh from the sea, and Great Northern and Black Throated Divers as well as unusual Gulls, such as Glaucous and Mediterranean, have all been spotted. The marsh is open at all times and has an extensive network of wooden walkways and viewing hides. There is a convenient car park right by the entrance, or you can park on the south side of the road, next to the beach.