I love to watch otters in the wild. They are very difficult creatures to spot, so we felt particularly pleased to have three sightings during our recent fortnight in Scotland. Two clues help me in my initial spotting, the first being that telltale V in the water as an otter swims, and the second, well, you have probably guessed, that 'ring of bright water' that was borrowed as a phrase by Gavin Maxwell from 'The Marriage of Psyche', the poem by Kathleen Raine.
|That ring of bright water, emanating from the steel-grey loch ...|
Two of my three otter sightings were of otters in the water. The third sighting, on Skye, began with an otter swimming near the shore, in and out of the kelp. To our great excitement, the creature climbed out of the water on to a long low rock, allowing us to see its whole form before it dived back and disappeared into its mysterious watery world.
We have re-visited old haunts on our recent holidays. We have also enjoyed new places along the way, but we have discovered that tried and tested destinations often yield good sightings. It takes patience, of course, and there is always the unpredictable element of timing: you just have to be in the right place at the right time!
|Swimming close to the shore|