Friday, 11 December 2015

A Shetland otter and her three cubs

 An encounter from last week when I was leading a one-to-one photo assignment working on otters. We had a fantastic four days of encounters including this mother and her three cubs. Again like last year there seems to be a few three cub families which is really good to see, indicating a good breeding season. These cubs are little more than five months old now and interestingly they are along a stretch of shore where there hasn't been a family for two years. This is actually one of two families here at this site so I am particularly pleased to see the site doing well again.
As unusual as it is for me to shoot when leading assignments, on the second day I was encouraged to do so, so shoot I did! Thank you Amelia!

She led the cubs up the bank to spraint and groom on a grassy ledge on the cliff face before heading down and off to forage, leaving the cubs to play on the shore.

It wasn't long before she reappeared powering back to the cubs through the waves with a leur/saithe in her jaws.

 A brief squabble but this little fellow claimed the prize. Once firmly secured in the mouth, it scampered away from the other two cubs to eat the catch.

Throughout the few hours we spent with these guys, two of the three cubs continued to be fantastically playful. They play with such energy, mischief and competitive streak. Few better sights to see.