Beavers & Birds - Autumn

Tour Summary

From our base around the coastal town of Exmouth, we will have three evenings and two full days to explore the wildlife-rich areas of East Devon. While our days will be spent on the coast and the East Devon Pebbleheaths in search of birds and beautiful insects, our evenings will be centered around the River Otter as we attempt to find and observe its Beavers. Since their introduction sometime around 2008 from an unknown source, their numbers have slowly grown and, after a five-year trial monitoring their impact on the local landscape, on the 6th August 2020 the government officially granted permission for the re-established colony to remain; making it the first legally sanctioned reintroduction of an extinct native mammal to England. 

Given we will be dedicating our evenings to watching for Beavers, each morning will involve a leisurely breakfast before a half day at one of East Devon’s prime wildlife sites. We will return to the accommodation by early(ish) afternoon, giving you time to spend as you please and to grab something to eat, before heading back out early evening in search of Beavers and potentially other mammals. 

 

Tour Details

Available: Jul- Sep

(please inquire to discuss specific dates)

Cost: £450 pp.*

Group size: 2-6*

* group size is decided by you at the point of booking with a minimum group size of 2 people. Small group sizes of 2-3 people includes an additional fee of £100pp. Group sizes of 4 or more are charged at the standard rate stated above.

 

Outline Itinerary

While the order we visit these sites may change (dependent on local conditions & wildlife) each tour will visit three main areas:

  • East Devon Pebblebeds
  • Jurassic Coast
  • River Otter

Day One: We will meet you at your accommodation at 1pm or offer the option to be collected from Exeter train station should you wish to come by public transport. Once your bags have been dropped off, we will take the opportunity to go out birdwatching locally before heading to one of the many excellent local pubs for dinner and the chance to chat informally in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. From here we will then be heading out for our first evening excursion to the River Otter in the hope of spotting some of the local residents including Kingfisher, Dipper, Otter and Beaver. 

Day Two: Our half day visit will be to the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, the single biggest expanse of rare lowland heathland in Devon (over 1,400 hectares) and home to incredible wildlife including Nightjars, Dartford Warbler, Hobby and several rare dragonfly including Downy Emerald, Southern and Small Red Damselfly. It’s also home to a number of specialist butterflies including Silver-washed Fritillary, Grayling, Brown Argus and Silver-studded Blue as well as several good populations of the magical glow worm. Depending on the time of year, we will aim to find these species whilst enjoying other residents including Stonechat, Linnet, Siskin and Crossbill. After returning to the accommodation for rest and dinner, we will once again head to the River Otter in our attempts to see the Beavers.

Day Three: Our second half day visit will be a coastal walk along the western edge of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning views across Lyme Bay. These cliffs are famed for their prehistoric and modern wildlife treasures including Rock Pipit, Shag, Fulmar, Kittiwake and Peregrine. It’s also a prime location to catch up with the county’s rarest and specialist bird, the Cirl Bunting, which occupies the adjacent farmland along with Skylarks, Linnets and Yellowhammers. It can also be a chance to catch up with one of our most coastal of butterflies, Wall Brown, which can be found here (mid-July/Aug only). After returning to the accommodation for rest and dinner, we will head to the River Otter for the final time to attempt to see the Beavers.

Day Four: With all the guided days complete, you have the option to either treat yourselves to a well deserved leisurely breakfast or enjoy one last self-guided walk in the morning before checking out. Should you require a lift to the local train station or bus depot, this can be arranged with us in advance.

Booking Information

Deposit Required: £150 pp.

Accommodation: B&B

Included: Three nights accommodation in double or twin en-suite rooms, breakfasts only (starting with breakfast on day 2 until breakfast on day 4), transport from first arrival at accommodation until final departure, and guiding services.

Not included: Travel to and from Devon, lunches, dinners, drinks or travel insurance.

Please note: lunch will be taken at suitable locations on route and can be flexible to suit group needs. Several dinner options are available close to the accommodation – more information available upon request.

Intensity: Moderate – accessible walking on mixed terrain with a number of walks of moderate length spread across each day (6-10km per day).

Target Species:

Birds: Cirl Bunting, Yellowhammer, Crossbill,  Siskin, Dartford Warbler, Kingfisher, Dipper, Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Fulmar and Kittiwake.

Mammals: Beaver (& Otter)

Insects: Silver-studded Blue, Grayling, Wall Brown, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Southern Damselfly & more

How to Book:

For all enquiries relating to this tour, please get in touch via email info@devonwildlifetours.co.uk or by phone 07989183437.