Some mornings guests at Pebbles have been treated to the wonderful sight of Gannets feeding just off the beach at Budleigh in full view from the balcony.
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. It's a real privilege to witness such a wildlife spectacle!
The Gannet is an unmistakable bird as it's the biggest of all the European seabirds.
The adult birds have brilliant white plumage with black tipped wings, it's wingspan is approximately 6ft or 1.8m. The group of Gannets that have been seen from Pebbles were behaving typically, circling and then diving from height 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.
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 and a visit is thoroughly recommended!