During the last two weeks of March, the Scottish beaver trial field staff and volunteers have been busy doing a sweep of the trial area checking for fresh beaver field signs and any notable beaver impacts.
We ventured out onto some lochs in the canoe to gain a better view. Lots of little wrens followed us as we paddled near the loch banks. We kept a close eye out for fresh feeding stations – key indicators that beavers are still active in that area. We were extremely lucky some days where the water was so calm it was like glass!
We had a total of 12 camera traps to put out over the two weeks to gain a better picture of the distribution of beavers and we did get some excellent footage. At Loch Coille Bharr for example, we recorded two adults on various nights, Millie and Bjornar, grooming each other and feeding. We also sighted Trude, Frank and many other beavers on camera showing they are still very much active and enjoying the area.
A recent addition to the area is a new beaver lodge on the loch of Barnslaugan next to the visitor centre. Here we put out some apples to entice the beavers in for a picture to give us an idea of who is present and beavering away. If you are in the area make sure to have a walk along the track to see if you can spot any beaver-chewed sticks and twigs.
We encountered lots of fresh feeding stations and some new constructions. Particularly on Lily loch where beavers have decided to create a little refuge under some conifers as can be seen in the picture on the left.
Some beavers were sighted out and about during the day. We had footage of beaver Frank out at around 3pm – he just couldn’t resist some apples! During the solar eclipse last month, we also saw a beaver out swimming at around 10pm. Ranger Oly suggested that it may have been confused and thought it was dusk!
Now that the clocks have leaped forward and the days are getting lighter, it will soon provide ideal watching conditions at dusk. So if you are out and about in the area in the evenings be sure to stop by as the sun is setting for a dusk watch. You might catch a glimpse of a beaver having a snack!