Sunday, February 26, 2023

Not-a-lotta' otter!

In a lifetime of nature watching I'd never seen an otter in the wild. I've found their tracks, identified their scat, and missed their presence by seconds on countless kayak trips and river walks. Where I live there are regular sightings (increasing over the years) and yet always I seemed to be in the right place at the wrong time, or whatever combination resulted in a no-show!

Yesterday it seemed was no different...

Jane and I walked for almost two hours around the lakes and streams at Bosherston in Pembrokeshire - an otter 'hot spot' according to the National Trust. Not that we expected any luck. Indeed, so sure were we that we'd not see one that we reminisced about the days when our older boys were small and we used to say that if anyone spotted an otter (verified of course) then we'd reward them with £100. This was mainly a ruse to keep them occupied but had they been successful I'd have gladly paid up.

As the sun began to dip, it seemed our bank balance would be safe for another day...

Until driving home we passed the bridge at Pembroke and Jane noticed that a crowd had gathered with cameras at the ready.  

'I wonder if they've spotted an ...' she said?  

Stop the car! I cried.

A quick u-turn and I was out, running towards the bridge, iPhone in hand, scanning the millpond for movement... And sure enough, there in full view of the town centre was my first ever otter spot!. Not exactly the wilderness location I'd imagined, but who cares about that.  I beckoned Jane from the car and she managed a sighting too. 

 So sorry boys, but mum and dad got there first - we'll share that hundred quid on a treat together.  

Meanwhile, I wonder if otters will now be like buses - you wait all day and then three come along at once!

I rather hope so.


  1. They are amazing creatures. I've never seen one in the wild either. We have beavers around here but hadn't seen one until one day we drove through Elk Island National Park and saw quite a few, one even walking across the road in front of us.

  2. How wonderful. We have river otters here now, and it is a sign of a healthy river when they return. We saw them one evening while working on a rental. We have five units on the water, and they all have decks so that people can watch the wildlife. Our tenants so love their piece of the river that they vow to never leave. And I hope they never do!

  3. Hari OM
    I hope for your sake, that is the case, too! There are said to be sea otters around here and Instgram of locals would appear to proove it; in nine years, I have yet to have this experience here. I have seen otters in the wild, many long years back, but I had travelled to where they were. It would be nice to see the 'locals' one day! YAM xx

  4. What fun to finally catch a glimpse of an otter. We see them often here, river otters most commonly, and occasionally, when out on the boat, sea otters. They are such lithe creatures, sleek and glossy in the water. I hope you see more!

  5. Oooooh our favorite wild creatures, although we were upset to read that here in Hampshire otters had killed some recently released beaver kits. Nature red in tooth and claw but the poor little beavers didn't ask to be rehomed in an unfamiliar area with with big scary otters.

  6. How absolutely wonderful. Well worth the long wait I'm sure. Otters are such beautiful animals. I occasionally see one around Loch Torridon, but not as often as one might hope.
    Cheers, Gail.

  7. Sometimes we see them on rivers while kayaking or canoeing. They are the most playful of animals.