Due to a cancellation we have the Lighthouse room available on Thursday 4 June for 6 nights.
Come and enjoy the panoramic sea view at Budleigh beach and watch the sun setting over the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast from your room at Pebbles Bed and Breakfast.
Since our original blog in May 2014 regarding the discovery of beavers in the River Otter there has been some new and exciting news. For the first time since they were hunted to extinction in the 18th Century, England has a population of wild beavers in East Devon and it looks like they are here to stay! The origin of the beavers in the River Otter is still unknown although it's likely to have been either an escape or a deliberate release from captivity.
When the beavers were first discovered to be breeding in February 2014. Defra announced its intention to capture and remove the animals citing the risk to human health from a tape-worm that European beavers are known to carry, but which is not currently present in the UK. Defra’s decision sparked an overwhelming response from local people, with the vast majority showing their support for the beavers to remain.
Natural England (the Government's official advisor on the natural environment) has granted Devon Wildlife Trust a five year licence to monitor the beavers which could mean that they remain in the wild in the long term.
As part of the licence a number of beavers were brought into captivity in order for health checks to be made. This process has been overseen by Defra with expert advice from leading zoological and beaver experts. Having gained a clean bill of health the beavers are now back on the river, a move which signals the start of the five year project in which the animals will be monitored for their impacts on local communities, landscape and wildlife.
The re-release took place on the evening of Monday 23 March 2015.
This was a key moment in the history of modern conservation and has come after months of hard work trying to secure a long term future for the animals.
Evidence of beaver activity can be seen along the River Otter from Budleigh Salterton upstream to Honiton, a distance of around 12 miles. Our most recent sighting of one of the beavers was on Wednesday 8th April. There are footpaths along the river and as our photographs show, good views are possible.
To find out more visit the Devon Wildlife Trust website: www.devonwildlifetrust.org/devons-wild-beavers-appeal
A number of guests ask how Humfrey our 'resident' Herring Gull is so we thought we should provide an update. We should say that this particular gull was given the name 'Humfrey' by one of our more mischievous regular guests.....
In the summer of 2014 it was clear that Humfrey had somehow sustained a serious injury to his left leg. He was unable to put any weight on it at all, it hung limp while he was flying and obviously made landing very difficult. People were very concerned how he would survive in that condition.
Humfrey regularly perches on our garden walls that border the South West Coast Path overlooking the beach. It was obvious in the summer that he could only stand and land on one leg and he did look as if he was in some discomfort.
The good news was that Humfrey seemed to be able to cope and that he could use his left leg for preening and could also put some weight on it. His leg has definitely improved since 2014, as to whether or not it will heal completely only time will tell. He continues to battle with the other gulls for his fair share of the fish, crab and lobster scraps that the fisherman on the beach discard in the sea. This of course means that Richard still has to gather up the odd crab shell or claw from the lawn.
It's fair to say the that Herring Gulls are not the most popular of our birds but Budleigh wouldn't be the same without its resident population of 'seagulls'.
The RSPB describe Herring gulls as "large, noisy gulls found throughout the year around our coasts and inland rubbish tips, fields, large reservoirs and lakes, especially during winter. Adults have light grey backs, white under parts, and black wing tips with white 'mirrors'. Their legs are pink, with webbed feet and they have heavy, slightly hooked bills marked with a red spot. Young birds are mottled brown. They have suffered moderate declines over the past 25 years and over half of their UK breeding population is confined to fewer than ten sites".
Herring Gulls are in the Red category of conservation importance. Red is the highest conservation priority, with species needing urgent action.
Humfrey has now lost his winter plumage and is looking much smarter with his snow white feathers. It's Springtime and unsurprisingly he has found a mate, so we now have two herring gulls sitting on our garden walls and roofs. We may well hear the pitter patter of tiny webbed feet on our roof before too long.......
Due to a late cancellation we now have the Lighthouse Room available on the 4th April for 7 nights.
It's not too late to book and enjoy the sea views at Budleigh beach and watch the sun setting over the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast from your room at Pebbles Bed and Breakfast.
A recent guest who stayed at Pebbles the Apartment said "We have had a wonderful time at the beautiful apartment....I have definitely found my bolt hole by the sea."
We have limited availability during March and April including the week commencing 9th March when the Budleigh Food Festival is on and the 8th - 21st April just after the Easter Bank Holiday.
If you'd like to enjoy fabulous sea views from the Juliette balcony overlooking the beach then either ring us on 01395 442417 or complete the website enquiry form. We look forward to hearing from you.
We are delighted to announce that Pebbles The Apartment is now available for holiday lets. We welcomed our first guests to the Apartment in late December 2014 and we are very pleased to have a number of bookings for 2015. We already have some excellent reviews on Trip Advisor.
The first floor Apartment has outstanding sea views and overlooks the South West Coast Path, pebble beach and Lyme Bay. Step outside the rear gate and you will be on the Jurassic coast path and Budleigh beach. Open the windows or the French doors and hear the waves and surf breaking on the pebbles.
The accommodation comprises of a light and airy double bedroom with a sea view, a newly fitted separate kitchen and breakfast room with sea view, a separate bathroom with new bath and shower fittings and a lounge with French doors and Juliet balcony overlooking the beach. You really couldn't be closer to the beach!
The Apartment has recently been refurbished to a high standard and is fully double glazed with new furniture and fittings throughout.
Pebbles the Apartment is just a few minutes walk from Pebbles Bed and Breakfast and is available throughout the year for weekly bookings or shorter stays (minimum 3 nights).
If you are interested in renting the Apartment and would like to enquire about availability please either fill in our contact form or call us on 01395 442417.
Please note that Pebbles the Apartment is for adults only, no pets are allowed and we have a strict no-smoking policy.
Parking is available at Pebbles Bed and Breakfast just a short stroll from the Apartment.
We have two rooms available on Good Friday 3rd April and Easter Monday 6th April but only one room available on the 4th & 5th April.
It's not too late to book and enjoy the sea views at Budleigh beach and watch the sun setting over the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast from your room at Pebbles Bed and Breakfast.
This morning guests were treated to the sight of seven Gannets feeding just off the beach in full view from the breakfast conservatory at Pebbles. The Gannets returned on the 12th January in numbers, we counted 21 this time! The Gannet is an unmistakable bird as it's the biggest of all the European seabirds.
The Gannet is a brilliant white bird with black tipped wings, it's wingspan is approximately 6ft or 1.8m. The group of Gannets this morning were behaving typically, circling and diving for fish.
Gannets are regularly seen in groups, they're a social bird and nest in huge colonies usually along cliff edges and steep slopes. We believe the Gannets seen from Budleigh beach nest on the Channel Islands. Their nests usually consist of a pile of seaweed and debris often including plastic rubbish. They will have just one egg and one brood.
They feed by catching fish such as mackerel and pollack underwater diving from height. The Gannet has forward facing eyes and a cushioned head and neck to enable it to spot fast moving fish and dive headlong into the waves to catch them.
These photos were taken by Richard during a visit to the Scilly Islands. One of the best places to see Gannets in the UK is Grassholm, a remote island off the Pembrokeshire coast. The island is a RSPB Reserve.
Just some of the hardy souls who enjoyed a refreshing dip in the sea on Christmas Day at Budleigh beach. We were lucky that we only had to step outside the back gate to join the crowds of spectators. It was a wonderful atmosphere and a new way for us to spend time on Christmas Day morning! It was great to see the Exmouth Lifeboat crews there supporting the event and putting on a show for everyone.
Amongst the more common wildfowl (such as the splendid Mallard shown above) on the River Otter and on the scrapes adjacent to Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club this afternoon was a female Red Crested Pochard! This is a rarely seen bird in the wild in Britain and was generating quite a lot of interest with local birdwatchers. On the same scape was another unusual bird, a Teal/Wigeon hybrid. More information can be found on the following website:
Numerous Curlew, Shelduck and Wigeon were present, other birds included Heron, Herring Gulls, Black Headed Gulls, Little Egret, Redshank and Reed Bunting.
On the way back to Pebbles we spotted a Black Redstart hopping about on the red cliffs along the seafront promenade, another new bird for the Pebbles birdwatching list.
Due to a late cancellation we have three rooms available for Friday 28th, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November. Come and enjoy a short break and experience the stunning sea views from the bedrooms which all overlook Budleigh beach and the South West Coast Path. The heaths just outside Budleigh are also looking stunning in the Autumn sunshine. Other dates are available in December, please ring us or email using the website enquiry form.
We have two rooms available for Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd November. Come and enjoy a short break and experience the stunning sea views from the Sail Loft or Boat House rooms which overlook Budleigh beach and the South West Coast Path. We can't guarantee sunshine but we can guarantee spectacular views from your bedroom and breakfast conservatory of the waves crashing on the pebble beach . Other dates are available later in the month, please ring us or email using the website enquiry form.
On Saturday 1st November 2014 guests from Pebbles Bed and Breakfast enjoyed close views of a Grey Phalarope at the mouth of the River Otter in Budleigh Salterton.
The bird had been in the area for a few days. The Grey Phalarope is small wader approximately 20-22cm and spends most of it's time at sea. They breed in the northern tundra including Iceland. They occasionally turn up on our shores when they have been blown off course during storms. This particular individual could be observed feeding in the shallow water and mud on small invertebrates and also swimming in it's distinctive manner.
On the same day we were also treated to lovely views of a pair of kingfishers and various other regular birds including a heron, a little egret having a dispute with a cormorant and a small flock of wigeon on the river.
The Lighthouse Room with stunning sea views and views to Otter Head is available for one night on Friday 10th October. If you want two nights the Sail Loft or Boat House rooms overlooking Budleigh beach and the South West Coast Path are available on the 12th & 13th or 15th & 16th October. If you want to wake up and enjoy the Budleigh beach sunrise some other dates are available later in the month, please ring us or email using the website enquiry form.
Pebbles Bed and Breakfast & Budleigh Salterton Beach Bird List 2014
Latest sightings from a seawatch on Monday 6 October are Little Gull, Leach's Petrel, 2 juvenile Pomarine Skuas, Arctic Skua, Brent Geese, Common Scoters, Kittiwake and numerous Shags and Cormorants. You can seawatch at Pebbles from your bedroom, the conservatory or the garden!
The following is a list of Birds seen from our garden and/or Budleigh beach seafront this year (recent additions include grey wagtails on the garage roof and willow warbler feeding in the tamarind tree in the back garden) :
Petrels & Shearwaters
Gannets & Cormorants
Bitterns & Herons
Birds of Prey
Rails, Crakes & Coots
Skuas, Gulls & Terns
Great Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Pigeons & Doves
Martins & Swallows
Pipits & Wagtails
Wrens, Dippers, Waxwings & Accentors
Chats & Thrushes
A 2 day, 3 night bird watching break based at Pebbles
Mon 3rd – Weds 5th November 2014 & Mon 1st – Weds 3rd December2014
“Pebbles” is a luxury bed and breakfast just a few metres from the famous pebble beach at the lovely seaside town of Budleigh Salterton in East Devon. Pebbles Bed and Breakfast By The Beach is included the Guardian's list of ten of the best hotels and B&B's in South Devon. An ideal location for a Winter Birding Break, located just a short walk from the River Otter where you can see Kingfisher, Cetti's Warbler, Little Egret and lots more river and estuary birds and if you're lucky you might even see the famous Otter Beavers!
Just five miles east of Pebbles is the Exe Estuary and Exe Marshes, a wetland area of international renown where thousands of waders, wildfowl and other birds gather in the winter months including large numbers of the iconic Avocet.
Budleigh Salterton is also just a few minutes away from the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths internationally important for wildlife where Dartford Warbler, Yellowhammer, Nightjar, Woodcock, Stonechat, Merlin and other Heathland speciality birds can be seen depending on the season.
Why not join us on one of our 3 night birding breaks?
Enjoy the spectacle of hundreds Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits and Brent Geese on the nearby Exe Estuary, get to grips with Divers, Grebes and Sea Duck in Torbay and see small winter flocks of Cirl Buntings. You will be based at Pebbles Bed and Breakfast by the Beach where not only can you seawatch from the comfort of your room you can also enjoy Pebbles' famous Lemon Drizzle Cake- not to be missed!
Day 1: Check-in at Pebbles at 4pm for tea and homemade cake and a briefing from your local bird guide, Chris Townend. Chris lives in Budleigh Salterton and has been birding since he was knee high! Chris will be your bird guide for the whole of your birding break.
Day 2: A delicious AGA cooked breakfast to start the day and then off to Torbay where we will spend some time checking the various bays and headlands for species such as Great Northern, Black-throated and Red-throated Divers, Black-necked Grebe and maybe even a Red-necked Grebe as well as Common Scoter and Eider. At this time of year winter flocks of Cirl Buntings gather at a feeding station, allowing some close views of this very special and localised species. After lunch we shall head towards the small fishing town of Brixham where we can usually find Purple Sandpiper and a check of the local gulls might produce a Mediterranean Gull or perhaps something more unusual like an Iceland Gull. If time allows, we can return via the Teign Estuary to look for waders and gulls.
Day 3: After another Pebbles breakfast we will stay more local and visit the Exe Estuary. The estuary is an internationally important site for various waders and wildfowl and is a magnet for birds at this time of year. We shall focus our time on waders and should easily find hundreds of Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits as well as smaller numbers of species like Dunlin, Greenshank, Knot and Grey Plover. Ducks will also be in abundance with large groups of Wigeon and the beautiful Pintail and Teal. We should also get some good views of the striking male Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye as well as seeing the spectacle of hundreds of noisy Brent Geese as they busily feed on Eel Grass.
After lunch, we shall spend the rest of the day around the Pebblebed Heaths just a stone’s throw from Pebbles. Here, we shall spend some time searching for Dartford Warbler and Woodcock and if we wait until dusk, we might get lucky with a Merlin or Hen Harrier!
Day 4: After a good nights sleep savour another delicious breakfast whilst enjoying the stunning sea views over Lyme Bay. Recent sightings from the garden at Pebbles have included gannets, shelduck, eider, sandwich terns, rock pipit, raven, various gulls and dolphins. An ideal place for some sea watching!
Leader: Chris Townend
Chris lives in Devon with his partner Helen. He currently sits on the Devon Birds Rarities Committe and when not overseas, he is often to be found on his local patch, the Otter Estuary looking for rarities. Chris has travelled throughout Europe, North and South America and his favourite continent, Africa, all following his birding interest, as well as wildlife and conservation. Employed by the RSPB for seven years and based at the RSPB’s HQ at Sandy for most of that time, in the species protection department. Here he was part of a team working to combat bird of prey persecution, illegal trade in birds and egg collecting. He then moved to the South West and worked on cirl buntings for three years including a year spent managing the cirl bunting re-introduction project.
Chris now works as a freelance bird guide and ornithological consultant. He has led numerous birding holidays for a number of well known bird tour companies during the last 12 years. Chris has a great passion first and foremost for birds, but this is very closely followed by the larger mammals of the world, particularly the cats! He is a people person keen to share his knowledge and ensure that bird tours are full of wildlife and humour!
The above Itinerary may need to vary due to adverse weather conditions or other local issues, any changes will be made to make the best use of our time available in the field.
The Break will include some easy walking at a relatively slow pace on flat and hilly ground and will include some time spent in hides.
Waterproof clothing and footwear and warm layers will be essential.
Included in the Birding Break:
The cost includes 3 nights accommodation and breakfast at Pebbles Bed and Breakfast by the Beach, two full days guided birding and transport with packed lunches provided by Pebbles. Evening meals are not included.
£375 per person based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room. Single person £435.
We have just two nights available now in August. The Lighthouse Room with stunning sea views and views to Otter Head is available for one night on Wednesday 20th August. The Sail Loft room overlooking Budleigh beach and the South West Coast Path is available on Thursday 28th August.
Enjoy Bed and Breakfast by the Beach
We currently have the Boat House room available for two nights, Monday the 4th and Tuesday the 5th August. Also due to a late cancellation we now have the Sail Loft room available on Friday and Saturday the 8th and 9th August.
The Sail Loft and adjoining Beach Hut rooms are available for one night on Sunday 27 July. The views overlooking Budleigh beach, the South West Coast Path and Lyme Bay are stunning!
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