Tuesday, 13 January 2015

It's an Obsession

I heard them first - the soft 'peep-peep' call that the cubs make but it was 30 minutes or more before I saw the otter family in Loch Ainort at 3.20pm, just under 4 hours after high tide.  The mother and both cubs were fishing in deeper water over the kelp, though I am not convinced that the cubs have learnt the skills yet of catching their own food.  The mother catches and eats fish in the water, then catches something for the cubs and they all come on shore to eat, with not a scrap left.   It was too dark to identify the fish species and the photos I got in low light weren't of the best.   The trouble is it has become an obsession that if I see an otter I have to get a photograph even though I have literally hundreds, if not thousands of photographs already.

The sun is there somewhere
The cubs were very active running across the rocks and beating each other up; both rolled around for several minutes while the mother looked on nonchalantly.  As well as food, they are still very dependent on the mother.  On one occasion when the mother and one of the cubs swam quickly to the shore almost surfing on the waves, thrown up by some still quite windy conditions accompanied by hailstorms, the second cub got left 100 metres away.  Panicking it let out lots of peeping calls and headed for the shore at the nearest point then ran along the rocks to meet its mother and sibling coming the other way to find it.   

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