Last Sunday, before social-distancing rules really kicked in, H and I went for a walk down to the Dubh Loch in Knapdale, just to see what the beavers had been up to over the winter. Answer: plenty. Here are some photos of what was easily-seen and which shows examples of beaver signs for those who’ve not seen them before.
Yes, busy as as beaver is a thing.
Beaver feeding station beside Loch Coille-Bhar
Reinforced dam on the Dubh Loch
The beavers’ technique for building dams shows well here, where they’ve reinforced the Dubh Loch dam.
The flooded Dubh loch area, with standing deadwood.
Beaver lodge on the shore of Loch Coille-Bhar.
This whole area is flooded, or at least much wetter, than it was before the beavers dammed the Dubh Loch. Standing trees have died and are falling, opening the whole area up.
A tree felled by the beavers beside the track.
This ditch has been used by the beavers as a canal – in fact, it has been dammed further along to improve it. They’ve been feeding on some of the sticks here at the end of it.
A small dam on a ditch running away from the Dubh Loch. improving the canal above it. Note plenty of beaver sticks where they’ve been feeding.
Elsewhere in the woods, pools have been created by damming small burns. Sticks are laid lengthwise in the water and mud and other debris is pushed up behind it. The mud dam may yet be reinforced with more sticks.
A squally day today in mid Argyll, with a stunning rainbow making an appearance when I drove across Moine Mhor.
Cold, clear autumnal weather provides great lighting for the empty pontoons.
The narrow spine of Rubha na Cille, the headland of the hermit’s cell, near Tayvallich is characterised by these stacks and pillars of rock, giving the land an almost unearthly feel. This manipulation is deliberately low-toned to emphasise the strangeness of walking through the landscape.
This is the view back up the Keils peninsula with the Sound of Jura on the left. The islands of Jura and Scarba are visible. There was once a ferry to Jura from this peninsula.
This is the view from the southern tip of the peninsula, with only a few skerries between here and Ireland about 75 miles away.
We’ve had a stunning weekend in Argyll, and this was from a walk out yesterday evening after supper. We’re getting to that point in the year where long evenings make evening expeditions worthwhile.
Next door have a pond. The pond is full of frogs. It’s riveting.
Out for a frosty walk yesterday, this was the view of the pretty Loch Buic in Knapdale. No beavers present at the time of taking this, but there were a family of five whooper swans feeding halfway down the far shore.
Fingal’s Cave, Staffa
Viewed from the approach with Staffa Trips last week.
Okay, I’m still getting used to using Lightroom and the tobacco filter on the sky might be a little heavy, but I’m pleased with the seawater.
Keills Port South Quay
At the end of the peninsula south of Tayvallich lies the little-used Keills Port. This slipway is the still-operational South Quay and maintained by Argyll and Bute Council. The gated road to the quay is a public road its full length and, contrary to the signs, it is possible to turn a vehicle at the quay end. That said, the best approach is on foot or bicycle to maintain the tranquility of the place. This was once busy with traffic from the Isle of Jura, which lies across the sound. Seals and otters can be seen here and the slipway itself is covered with sea pinks in the spring.
The quay was built in 1821 on the orders of the Parliamentary Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges and is attributed to Thomas Telford.