Saturday, 26 January 2013

An Otter Day

I thought that these blogs might be occasional but this is the second in two days.

That's because today was an otter day.   About 11.15 we went to inspect the trail camera, walking about 60 yards along the shore and back to the gate to the shore.   There was quite a lot of otter spraint and some deposited overnight near the stream which enters the sea by a what we call a slipway but really is just a passage from which the bigger rocks have been cleared.   It was low tide.

It was then that we saw an otter emerging out of the sea with what was probably a fish which it ate within a few minutes then returned to fishing in amongst the kelp spending at least 30 to 40 seconds under water at each dive.   It then gave up, swimming purposely, nose upwards, head back, close to the rocks heading west round the cliff into Loch Ainort.   I followed its progress though the shore is quite tricky in places.  The otter resumed fishing, close in, caught one and then again came out on the rocks to eat,  with that look of complete satisfaction that otters have when they munch away.   It took off again but I lost sight of it in the 10 to 15 seconds that I focussed on a path along the rocks despite being no more than 50 yards away.   This is not the first time that I have seen an otter completely disappear.

Looking back over our notes we saw an otter almost on the same date 2 years ago.   I think this was a female based on its size and rather narrow face, and given the heavy sprainting  it might be breeding nearby.   Hope so!

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