Sweet and sour
The 18th of April may live long in my memory as possibly my best beavering moment to date. I seriously can’t convey the emotions that surged through my body this evening, and as the title of the post suggests, it was bitter sweet.
Due to the wind changing direction in the afternoon I decided to go to the Rattray side of the river. On the way down I spotted this bad boy trying to work out how to get into the fish farm.
I travelled down to the parking place feeling quite despondent having to go to the north side of the river, as the south side usually is the better viewing point but wind direction dictates where I sit so as not to spook the animals. However, on arriving at the north side I realised that my wee pal Rhona hadn’t arrived and was possibly on the other side of the river!!! I decided to go see, knowing in my heart that I was possibly going to have a total wash out re sightings if I went to the south bank as the wind would just be blowing my scent right across the river right into the lodge area. However, after seeing my wee (and she is very wee) bud carrying her camera gear and bags back up the hill, I decided to just go with the flow and hope that the wind was gonna shift and we’d just chance our luck. So we went back to the river, Rhona apologising and saying let’s go to the other side etc, but to be truthful, neither of us could be bothered losing precious time by the river. So we settled at my normal spot right opposite the maternal lodge but I wasn’t happy, The sun was shining directly on us, the wind was coming over our right shoulders and was taking our scent slightly up river from the lodge. It wasn’t a risk I was happy to take so we moved a wee bit up river to a spot that didn’t offer as much viewing opportunities but hopefully didn’t alert the beavers to our presence. That is the main objective as far as I’m concerned, don’t freak nature out and nature will reward you. And how we were rewarded? Wow……………………………….
Mum appeared at 1949 looking totally resplendent…………………………..
she was really looking in great nick……………..
She circled about for a minute or so, drifting with the current before deciding that all was ok and submerging and returning to the lodge.
To see these creatures at a relative close proximity is a privilege but to see them within a foot of you is a God given gift!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And that is exactly what we were blessed with, initially me then the both of us. As we were watching a few ripples in and around the lodge area we were treated with a viewing of a pair of adults socialising, pic ain’t great but it was special.
As an afterthought, I’m now drawn to the conclusion that this may be maw and paw as opposed to yearlings. Both looked more adult than the other animals on show.
After these guys disappeared, everything went quiet for a while and Rhona and I ended up talking about how many special moments we had seen by the river, most of them shared. Unknown to either of us, the best was yet to come. When the 2 animals opposite us disappeared, 10 mins later there were ripples just below us and I had a wee sneaky peek. Now, me being the fantastic photographer that I am not, saw a youngster below us. It was laying low, only the head showing and I thought I’d get a great pic. However I’d left my lens extended and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t focus on the wee beastie. It was gorgeous, cute as pie and I missed the perfect shot!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT for the first time this evening unfortunately.
As night was setting we decided to call it over for the evening and headed back up the river. As we approached the burrow where dad has his summer residence we spotted ripples and sure enough there was a beaver. Stupidly I said “there’s the daddy” only to realise it was a wee beaver, one of last years kits. We tracked it up the river getting a few pics, but the light wasn’t great………..
but we did get a decent enough pic.
As we followed the kit up, it stopped at a feeding station and was very evident on the banking. Getting photo’s was a different thing though as the light was against us and we couldn’t really focus on the animal. In reality there wasn’t a decent shot. Our presence obviously upset the wee guy and he went back into the water. Initially we thought we’d missed our chance but it went up the river, we stayed our ground, and the little beggar came right back. What was to follow was pure magic. After leaving the river, it sat on the banking for a minute or so then unbelievably started walking towards us. N either of us could get a pic but more to the point, neither of us could take it in that this wild animal was now browsing on wild garlic no more than a foot from us!!!!!!!!!!!! I could literally have put my hand out and touched its nose, our hearts were pounding but that fact that the animal was so close, and it WAS very close, we couldn’t get pics and it totally gutted me. Having any wild animal in such an intimate interaction is a heart-warming moment that will for ever be cherished. After feeding away it seemed to sense us, gave a very guttural grunt and started back towards the river. That’s it I thought, but no, he kept grazing for at least 5 mins
before slipping back into the river
I honestly can’t convey my emotions regarding this evening, but having the yearling within touching range is/was and will always be something very, very special. Just a wee bit miffed I didn’t have the wee camera tonight, though I would have had to put it on macro settings due to the proximity lol. Great night and that’s the end of not only my tale but also of the beavers tail 😉