If we are not mistaken, spring is rapidly approaching…! The primroses are beginning to emerge, frogspawn is appearing in the lochs and the first ospreys have returned and now with the changing of the clocks the nights are stretching.
A Primrose on the banks of Lochan Beag.
All these changes mean that work for the SBT team is all go! As we are now in April, it is time for our last field sign survey before the monitoring phase of the trial comes to a completion at the end of May. As always, our wider search efforts outside of the trial continue in order to establish if any of our dispersed beavers can be located.
Yesterday we searched a small loch that flows into Loch Awe…the longest loch (41 km) and 3rd largest loch in Scotland. The small loch we were searching is fringed with reeds and in the summer, ospreys can be seen fishing here. A lovely day on the canoe, but despite thorough searching, no beaver signs were found. We did however see three ospreys and we even watched a pair mating!!
Trapping for annual health check purposes will continue right up until the end of May, and we have a few individual beavers which we will be targeting to gather final information such as weight, so this means some exciting evenings out on the water. We will also be carrying out additional evening observations to locate all the individual animals, particularly any of last year’s kits which have not been seen this year.
Hopefully our adult beaver females will be pregnant now and not too far off giving birth within the safety of their lodges. Any kits however, will generally not emerge from the lodge until early July. Once emerged the kits will remain close to the lodge at first, but as confidence grows they will begin to explore their surroundings a lot more and venture further from the safety of their lodge. We hope for another year of successful breeding.
Spring is a beautiful time of year to visit Knapdale and the surrounding areas. Our Guided walks begin tomorrow night and will continue through the spring and summer…so to avoid disappointment call 01546 603 346 and book a place now. Lets cross our fingers and hope for a good number of kits in the last year of the trial!