Saturday 17 July 2010

Mustelidae (1): Otter

We saw some spectacular sunsets on Skye,
though we didn't see the Red Cuillin 'ablaze'
as we have done on previous occasions.

The Otter is a shy creature,
and often prefers to swim about
when all is quiet at dawn or dusk.

I had never 'definitely' seen an Otter on Skye before.
I say 'definitely' because I have seen several possible sightings,
but these may have been small seals
or monsters of the deep!

The 'creature' in the photo below may be just such a thing.
I thought it looked like an Otter,
but David was doubtful.
There were rocks just below the water surface,
and as the tide receded, these emerged,
looking like living creatures.

However, the creature in the photograph below
was definitely an Otter!
It swam away from us
(though I'm not sure it knew we were there),
making a spindrift 'V' as it went.

My photo was taken from some distance,
with an 18 zoom lens.

We had a few days in Wester Ross,
and were keen to have another encounter of the Otter kind.
Remarkably we were rewarded in the middle of a windy day
when an Otter appeared in the loch, alongside our car
as we ate our picnic lunch.

Never underestimate the use of the car as a functional and portable hide!
I was too busy watching the creature on this occasion
to attempt any photographs,
but the memory will stay with me for a long time.

I hope I can look forward to further sunset expeditions on Skye
and to more picnics by the loch in Wester Ross!

Otter Facts
  • Otters are largely sub-aquatic mammals and are members of the Lutrinae family.
  • It seems that the word 'Otter' shares a distant root with the word 'Water'.
Otter Links


Naquillity said...

these are incredible shots. i love otters. and you captured them in their own element. i bet the memory of that otter next to your car will stay with you forever too. it's those simple moments we hold so tenderly. hope all is well.

Crafty Green Poet said...

what wonderful photos. I have only seen one definite otter from a ferry between Oban and one of the isles. Wonderful creatures. There are some along the Water of Leith in Edinburgh, though I've never seen them there

J said...

Hi Caroline,

Lovely scenic shots, and must have been great to see that Otter. I saw one on the river at Teifi Marshes near Cardigan on my first visit a couple of years back, but none on two subsequent visits.