Monday, 30 July 2012

A Dam Flooded

I left my trail camera by the ditch whose dams were breached by an attempt to lower water levels before the recent felling of a plantation here. The beavers began to rebuild their dams and a heron is seen in the clip below, fishing or catching frogs.

Ducks are well known to be beneficiaries of beavers' activities. This year, once again, we see this in the successful hatches of mallard here. 

Out of about 160 video clips there was only one of a beaver. What are they up to?

They seem to have abandoned this dam and moved on. The dam below, both pictorially and downstream, is being built up and the dam above is now just under the water.

This seems like a step by step approach to the development of pools. The dam upstream becomes an underwater ridge and contributes to increasing the complexity of the floor of this pool and associated diversification of habitat.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

In the Valley of the Drôme

These two photographs show the fast running main stream of the Drôme at a place where a slow flowing back water has been created. 

After this gap in posting on my blog I am a little rusty in managing it. How could I have omitted the identity of the dragonflies that I saw with Jean-Pierre Choisy?

I sent the photos, shown below, to Jean-Pierre and he has had them identified as follows:

"Crocothemis erythraea: the red. I thought it was this species but was not sure. Details in English: 

Orthetrum coerulescens: the blue. I thought it was that kind, without being certain, and no idea of ​​the species name. Details in English:"

I took this photograph last month just downstream from Aberfeldy. Louise and I went for a short walk with Victor Clements after our meeting of the Scottish Wild Beaver Group. The photograph shows the development of a beaver coppiced riparian woodland. Behind the bank of shingle is coppiced willow and further from the water is uncut woodland.

 Were we walking beside the Bez or the Drôme in this photograph? I don't know, but you can see the riparian woodland.

White poplar in its wild bushy shape is everywhere. In the foreground there is a place in the bank where beavers can get in and out of the water.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Château at Réalville and on to Vercors

A month without a post is unheard of in the history of this blog.

Louise and I went to France for a fortnight. We spent the first week in a delightful château (the Château Martel, Réalville)  that has been restored by Rupert and Mary Stewart-Cox. It is about an hour north west of Toulouse.

The company was pleasant and the week passed quickly. On Saturday, 23rd June, we travelled to Grenoble, hired a car, and drove over the pass, the Col de Rousset, to Chamaloc, which is a little way north of Die in the department of the Drôme.

We met our friend, Jean-Pierre Choisy, at Le Touron, the auberge in Chamaloc, where we stayed. Jean-Pierre led us on an astonishing tour of the area.

Here, for example, is a dam built by beavers entirely of stone.

Below is a beaver, living in a deep cut stream, not unlike the Dean Water in Angus. We met someone who had seen kits earlier that evening and had meant to spend the evening painting beavers in water colours.

Forested mountains, vineyards on the slopes and ripening grain. In the midst of all this wolves and lynx are returning. Beavers are expanding their range up the little streams. The griffon and bearded vulture are being returned, as is the ibex.