I’m quite embarrassed to admit how long it’s taken us to get round to this, but last night at about 9.15pm we finally braved the muddy path beside Flagham Fen and walked the few minutes round to the hide, hoping for a spot of beaver-watching. No-one else was around, the hide deserted. We sat and waited. The usual coots and swans were easy to spot in the gloom but after a quarter of an hour nothing remotely beaver-shaped had appeared. Previous visitors to the hide had noted that the lodge seemed to be well over to the right and in the fading light and without binoculars we decided we’d little chance of seeing anything.
We gave it another ten minutes then started walking back – this time along the path inside the fence*.
Near the corner of the lake there is a clearing so we paused for a minute to see if we could see anything. After just a few seconds we spotted a dark shape; only his head was visible out of the water but he was close enough to the bank for us to see his elongated body just below the surface. As we stood still and silent another beaver appeared, then a third. Two of them swam together and started to play. Others were obviously around as we heard splashing in the far corner just out of our vision. We stood until the light had almost completely faded (10.15pm) watching the beavers swimming back and forth. Amazing sight!
*Trick is to keep as close to the fence as you can without threat of touching the live wire (put there to keep the beavers in) and that way you don’t trip over the wooden pegs which are about a metre away from the fence and easy to miss in the gloom. You can exit (or access) this lakeside path using the ladder stile situated half way along the path betweeen Flagham Fen and Somerford Lagoon.