Saturday, November 21, 2009

Priory Country Park - Finger Lakes


I found a few remains of old Otter spraint earlier today....David Barnes found a whole Otter!

This is one of several of David's brilliant photos that you'll find on the Priory Country Park blog (see the link on the right-hand side) following his brilliant encounter with an Otter in the Finger Lakes this morning.

Priory Country Park was one of the places that I'd considered visiting earlier - there have been Otter sightings there on and off for the last few years and I've spent many hours in the Kramer Hide on cold, frosty mornings....hoping!

The good news is that we seem to be getting more Otter sightings in Bedfordshire and, interestingly, more during the daylight hours. This has been noted elsewhere, too, and may be down to the fact that the Otters are beginning to realise that they're most likely not going to be shot, or set on by hounds!* In recent weeks, a dead Otter was picked up close to Broom Gravel Pits, a mother and cubs has been spotted on the Ouse at Kempston, and there have been other sightings on the Ouse at Great Barford, and at Stewartby Lake and Harrold Odell Country Park....and I'm determined to get my own sighting before Christmas!

* I'm hoping that someone will buy me Kruuk's book - Otters: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation - for Christmas. I think that he talks there about experiments that have established that salt water fish are more active at night, whilst the situation is reversed for coarse fish. This is posited as one reason why our inland Otters are more nocturnal compared to the Otters in Scotland, which seems to suggest that our local Otters will continue to spend a lot of time night-fishing!

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