18 April 2015

A beaver on the Otter: 16 April

In Devon this week staying with good friends Jaffa and Helen in Budleigh Salterton while on a ecological consultancy course run by Acorn Ecology. The course has been excellent - I've learn't loads and met some really nice people.

After three failed attempts earlier in the week, this evening Jaffa and I finally connected with one of the Eurasian Beavers Castor fiber that have been introduced on the River Otter in Devon at his local patch. There are apparently nine animals - two pairs and five immatures. Defra agency APHA caught five of them to test for diseases such at bovine TB and Tularaemia and to ascertain the species, and after huge public pressure, re-released them back on the Otter once they we found to be disease free.

Jaffa has become obsessed with the beavers, visiting most evenings and observing their behaviour (check out his blog). In fact, he has become so obsessed with them that he has even named the pair on his patch - Gordon (a male with green ear tags) and Patricia (a female with pink ear tags). Helen and I are more than a little concerned about the amount of time he is spending with them, and wouldn't be at all surprised if he started swimming around and eating willow himself soon.

Female Eurasian Beaver Castor fiber on the River Otter this evening, doing what beavers do - swim about and eat willow

Pat, complete with huge pink earrings

Also notable during the week were a Slow Worm Anguis fragilis and a Grass Snake Natrix natrix at the Westpoint Centre near Clyst St Mary on 14 April (with the Grass Snake again on 15th).

Slow Worm Anguis fragilis, Westpoint Centre, Devon, 14 April - the dark sides suggest this one is probably a female


  1. Hi, sorry to comment on an old post, but I wondered if you might let me use one of your beaver photos in an essay I'm writing on the Eurasian beaver (with full credit, of course)?
    Don't worry if not, it's just a good photo and would finish off the essay nicely!

    1. Hi Carrie, Of course. You can either take the photo diret from my blog, if good enough quality, or if you would like me to send you the full resolution photo please give me your email address. Best wishes, Lee

  2. Thank you, that's brilliant! The one here on your blog should be fine.
    Thanks again! :)