Our run of bad luck with seeing beasties had to come to an end soon, surely...... So it was with confidence that we set off with friends to Blandford, to watch wild otters - in the daytime!
We arrived at the River Stour, wandered around, encountering kingfishers, little egrets and grey wagtails. All very nice, but no otters. We bumped into a local chap who informed us that he had just seen two further along the river at the weir, just ten minutes ago! We dashed off expectantly, but to no avail. Then the heavens opened and it chucked it down.....eventually it abaited and the search resumed. We met many other locals who enthusiastically retold their otter stories. We listened politely, but the portents were there, another opportunity missed! Blarst!
And then in the blink-of-an-kingfisher's-eye, it was there right in front of us - astonishing, one of nature's shyest creatures doing ottery things without a care in the world.
For the next hour or so we watched, sketched & photographed this confiding beast. It mainly spent it's time fishing and very good at it, it was too, catching numerous bullheads. Occasionally stopping to have a look at it's growing audience, at one point just ten feet away from us! Eventually it was joined by a larger dog otter, who quickly had a few joice words with the youngster. And then they were gone.
It was clear that the local people are proud of their otters and it was a privilage to share these trusting otters with them. I only hope that we don't betray their trust.....
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