Friday, 20 December 2013

Returning Otters

Its quite a while since I last update this blog, but the autumn has been relatively quiet, with wildlife interest restricted mainly to fungi.  Waxcaps are ok but they are not that exciting.

This week has been a little different.   The weather has been challenging; we have had strong winds for over 2 weeks now, with a couple of trees brought down.  But an otter family has turned up. In October and November we had occasional otter sightings, probably a male, but the return of a mother and cubs at this time of year follows the pattern of previous years.

Last Sunday I saw a mother and cub briefly, alerted by the weak piping whistle that cubs make, but on Tuesday we had a 30 minute view of a mother and two cubs.   The cubs were about half the length of the mother and therefore probably less than a couple of months old.   

It was low tide, and quite dark, with the otter family swimming very close to the shore in no more than a metre of water.   Almost a training swim.

The family are using a holt at the cliff - heavy sprainting, a dead dogfish and a well used path - and I have put a trail camera there.

No still pictures of the otters because it was too dark, but I have quite a lot of video to do something with.