Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A late otter

Thanks to a tip off from ace road kill observationalist Chris Hatch I was able to photograph this recent unfortunate otter beside the A472 Pontypool to Crumlin road. Even though I've tramped the countryside for longer than I care to admit I've not had the good pleasure to see a live  beating heart otter. Yes, like any card carrying naturalist I've prodded and sniffed the sweet aroma of their do do's (spraint is the official scatological term), photographed footprints in the mud of the River Usk, recorded characteristic fish kill signs at Cwmbran Boating Lake and even seen several other dead specimens roadside and in the drink of the Monmouthshire-Brecon Canal but never one that is warm.

Dead specimens of all British mammals are always worthy of closer examination so I took the opportunity to take some images of those little dainty feet. Note the diagnostic pads that are the main feature of those prints in the mud we all look for.

1 comment:

  1. I photographed an otter from the bird hide at Magor Marsh just before Christmas. Dog otter chewing a recent catch. He could see us in the hide, and just wasn't bothered.

    As a tip, try looking for otters in rainy weather. They seem to be more confident that they won't be disturbed then.

    Mike Kilner


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