Hawk Mountain is known as one of the best places in northeastern North America to view the annual autumn hawk migration. There are 8 miles of trails over 1,400 acres.
For raptor migration viewing, visit in autumn. Each fall, 18,000 hawks, eagles, and falcons pass Hawk Mountain.
Peak migration times http://www.hawkmountain.org/rapt...
For general enjoyment of mountain views & trails, visit mid-week during your preferred season for hiking. Use caution at overlooks year-round but especially in icy conditions.
Approaching Staffa and Fingal's cave from the sea is an incredible experience. The cave is known for its natural acoustics and is part of a National Nature Reserve.
Tours are being offered from April to October. The best chance for pleasant weather is during spring (April-June) and again in September. To come ashore, visit the Isle of Staffa and having a look into the cave by feet is possible during a calm sea. Check the weather forecast before you book a tour. Rain is common in Scotland and occurs more frequently in July and August.
The cave's face is southeast, therefore, best seen in the morning.
At least in the northern parts of Illinois, it can be challenging to find a spot to hike with rigor. Starved Rock offers visitors many ways to encounter the great outdoors.
It’s a magical year-round destination for hiking and sightseeing. In summer it’s very special to see the waterfalls after a hard rain, in winter when the falls are frozen. Spring offers the beauty of wildflowers. Fall shows its beauty with yellow, golden and red leaves that are present on the trails.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
The park is a less busy in winter months (Dec, Jan, Feb). Otherwise it’s often heavily crowded in spring, summer and fall. Even more on weekends and national holidays. To beat the crowds: Avoid weekends and be there early. The visitor center opens at 9 AM but you can arrive and park earlier. Another way to avoid the crowds is to hit the trails that are not located in the main hub. The park is large and has many trails where you can ‘hike away’.
Bird Watching Months (Eagles)
Every year, thousands of eagles migrate to the area, they come for the fish found in the cold waters of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The birds begin arriving in late December and stay until March. To spot the eagles and be on the safe side visit in January or February. Park administration says, that depending on the weather, most of the birds are gone in March already.
The Somme Estuary is a 17.000 ha Ramsar Site and Special Protection Area for Birds.
20.000 birds both in winter and in passage periods
Lundy is a place of outstanding natural beauty and a must when visiting Cornwall. It's an incredible getaway of it all.
The small Lundy Island - just 5 km / 3 miles long - is very popular for daytrippers during spring and summer. The island is famous for birding, especially the cute puffins. Find more details below. Regarding the weather May to September are the most pleasant months although rain, drizzle, and mist occur throughout the year. It's pretty often unpredictable with very challenging weather conditions. June is the peak for the flowering season. The ferry MS Oldenburg departs from Bideford and Ilfracombe depending on the tide times and takes less than two hours. It's the same for the return ferry trip. Occasionally you arrive at the other port, but a shuttle will bring you back to the car.
The season on the island starts end of March and ends end of October if travelling by ferry. The island is accessible by helicopter from November to April if you stay in one of the 23 cottages of Lundy. A small number of puffins can be seen in the breeding season. The best months to spot puffins are April to July/early August. However, sightings outside of this period are possible but rare.
The ferry ride takes less than 2 hours. This makes the island even more popular. People already queue an hour before departure to get a seat. However, you won't find massive crowds on Lundy Island. But still, it's advisable to book the ferry ticket in advance, especially during the weekend and summer holidays. Same for the 23 cottages and the campground. If possible come mid-week when visiting in July or August.
Ferry (MS Oldenburg) and Accommodations
- For 'ferry' booking, you can either give them a call or write them an email: Ferry Booking. Find the timetable here: Ferry Timetable (departing either from Bideford or Ilfracombe)
- For booking one of the 23 available cottages on the island: Cottage Booking (select 'Lundy' as the region)
- Whether you're staying for a day trip or longer on the island, it's a must to spend some time in either Bideford or Ilfracombe. Why? The ferry departs directly from both beautiful towns. Book your stay via booking.com as they offer the best rates and top-notch service: Bideford Hotels or Ilfracombe Hotels (Tip: Bookmark both links in case you're not booking right now. It will save you time and money)
Diving at Lundy
It's also a top diving destination in the UK; located in the Bristol Channel. The sea around Lundy is the first Marine Nature Reserve in England. Best time for diving and snorkeling during summer due to warmer sea temps. The diving season starts end of April and lasts until the end of September with good visibility. There are more than hundred shipwrecks around Lundy which makes it even more exciting. Due to strong tidal currents, it’s only for experienced divers recommended. A bonus curious grey seals may follow you. Dive Sites
Lundy is one of the largest seabird breeding colonies in South West England.
- Usually, puffins arrive between mid to end of March on Lundy Island for breeding. Puffins are leaving the island in August at the latest. As Lundy Island is rat free now (2019), you can expect a higher number of these gorgeous birds. There is a colony at Jenny's Cove, and even during rat eradication, the pufflings and all other chicks were save there. However, usually you can obserbe them in distance only. Bring a binocular and/or a zoom camera.
- Seabird breeding colony (guillemot, razorbill, max shearwater, shag, and different gulls) can be spotted from the end of March until September.
- Migratory birds make a stop on the island from March to June and August to November.
Lundy Island Puffin Calendar