Crowdy Reservoir lies within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on the northern tip of Bodmin Moor, designated for its fantastic habitats and associated wildlife. Located a few miles from Camelford, and near the North Cornwall coastal villages of Tintagel, Port Isaac and Boscastle, the reservoir is perfectly situated for a family day out.

Wildlife at Crowdy

Why not try a spot of birdwatching? The moorland lake is home to a variety of bird species, including the grasshopper warbler, cuckoo and snipe. In winter, wildfowl are often out on the water, so keep a look out for teal and wigeon! You might even see a breathtaking starling murmuration; starlings gather into a nationally important roost nearby at Rough Tor, with numbers reaching into the several millions in some years.

Murmurations are one of the greatest wildlife spectacles you can witness: a swooping mass of thousands of birds, whirling in the sky in unison.

In 2018, South West Lakes Trust and Cornwall Butterfly Conservation searched the Crowdy marsh area for butterflies and moths, known collectively as the order Lepidoptera. The search revealed 24 different species of butterflies and moths, including the common blue butterfly, meadow brown butterfly, broom moth and large yellow underwing, to name but a few.

Starling murmurations

Why do they do it?
There are several reasons for this behaviour: for example, grouping together offers safety in numbers, because swooping predators find it difficult to target one bird in the middle of a hypnotising flock of thousands.

Starlings also gather to keep warm at night and to exchange information, such as good feeding areas. They gather over their roosting site, and perform their wheeling stunts before they roost for the night.

When and where?
• Autumn roosts usually begin to form in November
• More and more birds will flock together over time, and the number of starlings in a roost can swell to around 100,000
• The best time to see them is in the early evening, just before dusk. You don’t need any special equipment - just look to the skies.
• Starlings roost in places that are sheltered from harsh weather and predators, such as woodlands. However, during the day, they form daytime roosts in exposed places such as treetops, where the birds have good all-round visibility.

Walking at Crowdy

Explore the reservoir on a walk, and refuel with a picnic; excepting the area around the Nature Reserve, the banks are open for walking. A great 20 minute walk starts from the car park, across to the bird hide along the north bank.

In recognition of the high conservation value of this lake, there are no activities available, apart from free wilderness trout angling, at this location. Environment Agency rod licence holders may fish for free on this 115 acre water by spinning, fly or bait. Find out more here

Address: Crowdy Reservoir, Camelford, Cornwall, PL32 9XJ