Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Otter on Benbecula

It's not always easy to find otters in the Outer Hebrides although you regularly bump into them when you're least expecting to. Today was one of those days and although the light was poor and my two small sprogs, Finlay (age 6) and Freya (age 3) were there to help, it did show very well; well enough to get a couple of shots.

Finlay also enjoyed the site of the otter rolling in a rock pool, getting quite excited as it tackled various crabs and eels. Freya on the other hand was more interested in the tennis ball we'd found and took to splashing in a puddle. I took the opportunity to creep a little closer as the otter devoured a catch on a rock. It appeared completely oblivious to my approach as it munched away although once finished it became alert and obviously knew something wasn't quite right as when it returned to feed, it took a route away from my crouched position.

We managed to watch it for a total of around 20 minutes just after mid-day and typically a couple of hours after high tide. This isn't always the case and activity varies with tide height and from day to day at different feeding grounds. Slowly but surely the notes taken on regular observations throughout the last few years and from surveys to identify hot spots of otter activity to avoid disturbance during developments; are helping build a picture of where best to find them and at what time.

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