Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Warren Villas NR

David Barnes' photo of the Otter at Priory Country Park has featured on this blog before, and I've included it again because it's the only photo of a Bedfordshire Otter that I've got, and because I want to celebrate finally catching up with an Otter this evening!!!

Over the past few months I've chalked up hours and hours of field-time, trying to record Otter, mainly focusing on dawn watches at Stewartby Lake. As Richard Lawrence, our Mammal Recorder, said at the Bedfordshire Natural History Society AGM last night, "There are a lot of Otters around and they're in all the watercourses!", but seeing one is not quite so straightforward!

Having found a spot where Otter(s) cross from the Nature Reserve to the River Ivel this morning, I stationed myself about 25m downwind and waited. This was just after 6.30pm which was pretty late: having done some last minute shopping, got caught in heavy traffic, and having trekked once again from Biggleswade! But, within 10 minutes, I looked up to find an Otter standing on the path right in front of me. It must have known that I was there but, after a few seconds, it sauntered down the steep bank and, presumably, into the River Ivel, though I never did see it again. What I'll always remember is that amazing tail which looks so long close up! I had planned to do my very best to catch up with Otter & Water Vole during this holiday week, and I've managed to see both - Wonderful!

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