Monday, 29 September 2014

Shetland Otter families in late September

 The older three cub family above (around five/six months) and the younger ones, around four/five months bellow.

A fantastic and very typical late September morning, a light SE wind, low cloud and drizzle with the occasional clearing and dry spell- it took quite a lot to resist the birding temptations but the prospect of spending time with a mother and three young cubs won the day!
Really was so authentic and such a fitting autumn scene and sound, whilst searching for and watching this mum and her cubs there were several large flocks of Pink-footed geese going over, I even managed to shoot some video with the D4 of the cubs at play whilst the flocks of pinks called overhead.
Interestingly I had the other mum and three cubs at this same site on the way to find these guys, an older family but only by a couple of months.Worked on them for just half an hour or so but moved on as it was still fairly dark and they appeared to be on the move, then I moved on to these guys.
When I first found her I was scanning the bank of one of her main holts when her head popped up- typically anxious and checking the air for any unwanted scents- mine of course was blowing well inland and in opposite direction. I was also quite a distance from her holt so as not to be too close and give her the distance needed so to be out of sight. I was thrilled to watch her drag each cub one by one down the grassy bank and across the boulder beach to the waters edge.
Eventually they she began to forage and I followed her for several hours with the cubs before heading away whenthey returned to another holt to lay up later in the morning.