Sunday, 15 February 2009

15th February

Traveled a little further today to visit a mother with two cubs, it was certainly worth the effort! After having covered quite a bit of this very isolated coastline I was beginning to think that i must have missed the family i hoped to find here, along the way I had seen one otter, all be it briefly swimming around a distant headland, which i was fairly sure was not the mother I was looking
With the weather fare and with one last little favourite haunt of hers still to check , I carried on. As I approached, fresh spraints around the 'lie up' on the bank could be barely an hour or so old, at most. Had I gone passed them or were they ahead of me I wondered, as I sprawled out onto the grass crawling forward to view the shore that I have watched them on so many times before.
I peer over the bank, laying tight into the base of an old pile of stones; the unmistakable site of otter bodies toiling together on the bladder wrack sea weed- Yes, they are here! The onshore wind takes my scent far away from them, I settle in with my camera and lens peeking through out of the dead grass. From here I am only about 20 meters away from them, countless times i have enjoyed encounters such as this with otters but every time my hear pounds like its the first!
I watch and photograph them for some time, romping around, the cubs continually harassing one and other and mother too. I am rather distressed to see that the mother, who has been in this range for at least two years now, has some fierce wounds, mainly on her rump which she must have sustained in a battle over territory. Thankfully she looks healthy otherwise as I watch her feed off shore with the cubs for a while before eventually after coming ashore again sprainting and then grooming, they settle in and drift off into a much needed snooze. I sneak away, as quietly as I approached.