RAME HEAD (including Penlee Battery and Polhawn Cove) – Site Guide

Rame Peninsula.

This area has some fantastic coastal walks and some great birding.The best time of year is in the Spring and Autumn, you can walk here in early spring and not meet another person except the odd bird watcher who visit here on a regular basis. This area can get busy in the summer months but still not that bad. It is best to start from Rame Church were you can park but do not block the farm gates in this area as it is a working farm and we have good relations with the land owners at present. It is worth checking the bushes and trees in the church yard as this can turn up the occassional goodie. This is also a good spot for Black Redstart in the autumn, as well as Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and the odd Firecrest. There have been some great finds here in the church yard in the past, you just don’t know what will turn up. In 1999 a Red-flanked Bluetail was present for a week and was later joined by a Chimney Swift! Now make your way down the lane past Rame Barton. Check the trees around here as there have been some good birds found. A Wilsons warbler was seen in this area in 1985. Also Yellow-browed Warbler and Pallas’ Warbler have been found along here as have Red-breasted Flycatcher, Scarlet Rosefinch and Little Bunting. Walk back towards the Church and turn left and follow the military road that takes you to Penlee Battery, checking the fields on the way as these turn up some good birds as well as the more common fare. Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit, Ortolan Bunting, Woodchat Shrike, Turtle Dove, Little Owl and Corncrake have all been recorded in the past.

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Red-flanked Bluetail (1999) (Photo:J.Heaton)

Penlee Battery

You can park here for free if you don’t want to do the full walk but don’t leave any valuables in your car as this is a very quiet spot. The police do make the odd patrol here. This is a good area for Moths and Butterflies as well as some rare Orchids.You see most of the common birds here, aswell as the odd rarety. Roller, Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, Red Kite, Hobby, Merlin and Ring Ouzel have all been seen in this area. Head down to the coast path towards Rame. You should see plenty of birds and butterflies and the odd herd of deer on the lower slopes. These paths can turn up all sorts. This is where the Sub-Alpine Warbler was seen this spring, which had been found in the upper field above this path the day before. Good views of the Ravens and Peregrines can be had all along this stretch of coast. The sea is underwatched from this point but should be worth a look at peak times.

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Polhawn Cove

Good in a southerly or easterly blow . Therewere 9 Ring Ouzel here in one day in autumn 2006. Dartford Warbler can be found here most times on the lower scrub as well as Stonechat, Yellowhammer, Wheatear, Whinchat. The whole Peninsula is a good for raptors in the autumn – Short-eared Owl, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Merlin, Hobby, Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk.

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The whole area is fairly underwatched and would benefit from more coverage and as mentioned earlier seawatching could result in some good birds.
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Queener Point at Polhawn (photo:C.Buckland)

Site Guide and Photos (unless otherwise stated) by Chris Buckland (July 2007)

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