Pebble Island, at 19 miles (31 kms) long, is the third largest offshore island. The landscape varies greatly from large ponds and moorland, to long sandy beaches and rocky cliffs. All of these provide vital breeding habitats for a wide-range of birds, including some rare and elusive species.
The ponds on the eastern part of the island, some of which are within walking distance of the lodge, are home to Chiloe wigeon, grebes, Black-necked swans, Yellow-Billed Pintail, Silver Teal and a multitude of other wildfowl and wading birds. Many thousands of Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins breed on Pebble Island each summer, spearheading the incredible list of some 42 resident bird species. If you are lucky you will see the one resident Leucistic rockhopper penguin and also you may have the chance to see the few resident Macaroni penguins. In addition, each year, the island seems to act as a magnet for many rare avian visitors from mainland South America and beyond. Pebble was proud to announce a record sighting of 7 different species of penguin throughout the 2004/05 season. Marine mammal enthusiasts can look out for Southern sea lions hauled out along the coast. Frequently Commerson’s and more occasionally Peale’s Dolphins can be spotted surfing in the bright blue waters off the beaches or fishing amongst the kelp beds. Later in the season whales migrate past the Falklands and can been occasionally seen from the cliffs.
Pebble also has something for the historian with many reminders of the 1982 conflict, including remains of aircraft destroyed when British special-forces raided the island’s Argentine-occupied airstrip. Visitors to Pebble Island today land on the same grass airstrip that saw the first land-based action of the Falklands War. There are several memorials, most notably a large cross erected on a scenic hillside not far from the settlement, that looks out to where HMS Coventry was sunk by Argentine jets.
Pebble Island offers great viewing for the famous Falkland Island sunrises, sunsets and wonderful clear night skies.
Overland tours are a must due to the size of the island and the experienced drivers/guides will make sure that you don’t miss the particular points of interest. The two fully guided tours in 4x4 vehicles offer ample opportunity to see the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery further afield from the settlement.
Pebble Island Lodge
The menu at Pebble Island Lodge often includes the following fresh items sourced locally:-
Pebble Island images courtesy of Brad Moriarity and Cat Davidson