Saturday, 16 January 2021

An Otter Encounter

One of those absolutely magic wildlife moments happened to me today. A proper take your breath away experience.

Shortly after 9am I was walking along the banks of the Axe, near Boshill Cross, having a wonderful time in my own little wildlife-filled world.  I'd flushed several Snipe, seen the wintering Marsh Harrier slowly quartering over the reeds, had a Water Pipit flying around calling above my head, startled a Cetti's Warbler that alarm called from deep inside cover, had a glimpse of a Kingfisher and was even treated to a flyby from our lingering 'skein' of Greylag Geese...

So as riverside wanders go it was already a pretty productive one.  But it got even better when I was stopped in my tracks by the calls of an Otter, and was amazed to see one, well some of one, just a short distance in front of me. Make sure the sound is up when you watch this...

I only wish I had kept the camera rolling, because a few seconds later it was on top of the bank no more than 15 feet away...

I then spent the next five or so minutes watching not one, but two Otters hunting along the river edge, in a graceful but very methodical way.  They were catching plenty of food and were virtually always on the go - this made photography a bit tricky. However they didn't take a blind bit of notice of me, yes I crouched down and remained stationary, but I certainly wouldn't have described myself as being inconspicuous - the great lump that I am hunched up on top of a barren river bank! 

Most of my pics looked like this...

But a few came out OK...

Wow. Quite simply wow. 


  1. Fabulous; seen loads of otter on the River Stour but never heard them calling. You had a pretty good day!

    1. Hi Ian, thanks so much for the message. Yes an amazing day - and a memory that will stay with me for a long time.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.