In the summer, people visit the Isles of Scilly to
enjoy the unspoilt sandy beaches and clear blue seas.
autumn is an equally good time to visit the islands for a stunning wildlife experience
including some great bird watching.
islands - Isles of Scilly.
Isles of Scillly are an archipelago of some 150 islands and rocks, lying 28 miles
south west of Cornwall.
The climate sets the islands apart from mainland
Britain and dictates the landscape and wildlife.
The air is unusually humid,
thanks to the Atlantic Ocean and very pure, due to a lack of airborne pollution.
Furthermore, the islands enjoy plentiful sunshine.
the landscape is home to a tremendous variety of rare plant and flower species,
many not seen on the UK mainland.
Wildlife in turn flourishes, with many
important bird species able to colonise in safety.
Over half the land area
is designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the whole area is an Area
of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
thousand people live on the five inhabited islands that make up the Isles of Scilly.
St Mary's is the largest and boasts a variety of landscapes ranging from
woodlands, heaths and wetlands to rocky headlands and sand dunes.
humid climate is a result of being close to the warm Gulf Stream, which means
that they are home to a huge variety of rare plants and flowers not seen on the
The Scillies are the first landfall for many migratory birds,
with a mild climate influenced by the warm waters of the Transatlantic drift emanating
from the Gulf Stream.
The islands' isolation means that there are few mammals
and no snakes, making it home to some great birds, unique animals and an incredible
mixture of native and exotic plants.
of the best places to see the Scilly's amazing plant life is the subtropical Abbey
Gardens at Tresco, which benefit from the influence of the warm Gulf Stream and
the lack of frosts.
Described as "a perennial Kew without the glass",
the gardens host 20,000 exotic plants from 80 countries, ranging from Brazil to
New Zealand and Burma to South Africa.
The gardens were founded by plant
collector and botanist Augustus Smith in 1834 on a site adjacent to St Nicholas
Priory which had fallen into disrepair in the sixteenth century.
the garden boasts rare palms, cacti, succulents and exotic plants from Brazil
to Burma, and Chile to the Canaries, which can be seen nowhere else in Britain.
Scillies' position out in the sea, means they are often the first bit of land
for an exhausted bird that has been blown hundreds even thousands of miles in
the wrong direction.
In October, when the sun seeking tourists have left,
there is another invasion.
In the autumn migration is in full swing as birds
head for warmer climates.
Birders from all over the UK flock here hoping
to see bird species they have never seen before.
The Isles of Scilly are
a hot spot for rarities including birds from America, Canada, the Mediterranean
Some 570 different species of birds have been recorded and it's
a popular spot for birders.
Try some birding for yourself and see if you
can spot something truly rare and exceptional!
Islands support a population of around 250 seals, and the Eastern Isles on the
edge of the archipelago are a favourite location for basking Grey Seals.
islands are also renowned for their clear waters, which make snorkelling a popular
Once underwater snorkellers can swim through giant forests of
large brown seaweed or kelp, which provide food for marine animals such as sea
urchins, mussels and limpets.
and island photos copyright of Isles of Scilly Tourism.