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Otters

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 Andypeak 13 Nov 2020

I just saw my first ever otter. I've been trying to spot one for years and finally saw one today. Believe it or not it was in Nottingham just outside the city centre right near one of the main roads leading into the city. Absolutely beautiful and has made my week. 

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 daftdazza 13 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Beautiful animals and great they are back in most rivers in the UK, good to see them back in Glasgow and Edinburgh city centre.  Famous otter near Arthur seat in Edinburgh, getting a lot of views most days now. The river Kelvin one is harder to spot.

I seen my first otter up in torridon and was very special, equally so for my girlfriend when she spotted hers near ullapool during the summer.

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 Dave the Rave 13 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Nice, enjoy it. I saw my first otters playing in the sea off the west coast of Arran in 1992, due to being forced to stop by sheep on the road.

Never saw again one despite some serious otter watching in the north west of Scotland every year.

 It became the family joke and the Mrs even saw one crossing the road in Flint. It had sunglassses on, a bottle of Buckfast and a Saltaire, and was clearly taking the piss out of me.

Since 2015 I’ve seen loads off Arisaig and Mallaig. Our kid has a good video of one on the beach at night with a fish.

Post edited at 23:25
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 waitout 13 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Incredible creatures and that they have returned in numbers is a rare success. Used to see them in the burns around Plockton.

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In reply to Andypeak:

Can you eat them ? 

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 Philip 14 Nov 2020
In reply to I like climbing:

There is a curry house in Devon that does a Tarka Dal with extra chillies for those who like a little otter.

> Can you eat them ? 

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 Dr.S at work 14 Nov 2020
In reply to I like climbing:

You can eat badger, so probably?

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 druridge 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

They've re-established on the river where I fish, and they have really sorted the mink problem. We were 'controlling' mink which were causing problems with water voles, breeding birds etc (and the trout). The otters keep the mink away and have fitted in well, the trout are happily coexisting with their 'natural' predator, every river should have one!

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 DerwentDiluted 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

I saw a huge dead otter on the A38 at Derby a few years ago. Derbyshire WT said they are quite established in the Derwent. My best ever otter sighting was when i was watching through binoculars on the north coast of Torridon close to Diabaig. It was floating on its back demolishing a sea urchin, when a Pine Martin scavanging the tideline paused right in my field of view to watch the otter, for a full minute I watched them both looking at each other before they went about their business. Magic and inedible*.

Edit *indelible.

Post edited at 09:12
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In reply to Andypeak:

It’s amazing when you see them isn’t it.
Our girls sat in torrential rain for an hour watching a family of them on Arisaig beach, highlight of their half term.

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 David Riley 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

In the canal ?

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In reply to Andypeak:

I bumped into one while snorkeling in Wester Ross (being coy about where but it's on the snorkel trail) I don't know who was more surprised. I treasure a still from the video I was taking with my wee underwater camera. 

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In reply to Andypeak:

Once had a wonderful family day canoeing around the islets by Tinker's Hole (between Mull, Erraid and Iona), amongst other things watching an otter play in the water and on the rocks.

And another where we spotted one from the car, frolicking on the shore of Loch Sunart, as we headed out to Ardnamurchan.

However, all is not rosy with these beasties. Whatever you do, don't google "Adam Rutherford truth about otters"...


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 Andypeak 14 Nov 2020
In reply to David Riley:

In the river Leen just before it goes under the road and joins the Trent

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 toad 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

They are becoming well established in greater Nottm. There was one a few weeks ago performing in the middle of the afternoon for the punters at Attenborough NR

It says something that the only record of otter in the early 90s when I first came to Notts was roadkill on the A46 ( hit by a notable local naturalist, according to legend). There are now sufficiently common on the Trent and environs that some of the fishing clubs are lobbying for permission to kill them!! 

I was shown a little clip of video of an otter (unsuccessfully) stalking a swan!

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 toad 14 Nov 2020
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Have a like, purely for the autocorrect!!

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 arch 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

I bet the local fish population is ecstatic.

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 David Riley 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Surprising.  I'd noticed there were quite a lot of fish now.  It used to be completely dead.  I've seen kingfishers near Dunkirk. 

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 Sealwife 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Spotted my first otter last year.  It was crossing the main road through an industrial estate in Kirkwall in what passes for rush hour in Orkney.  Cool as anything.

Saw a family of them on the coast near my house in spring this year, playing and hunting along the shore.

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 toad 14 Nov 2020
In reply to David Riley:

I paddled the trent/canal loop a couple of weeks ago. There was a kingfisher sat bold as brass on a pipe/ outlet thing by the old boots site. I love seeing that flash of blue

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 David Riley 14 Nov 2020
In reply to toad:

Good.  At least some things are getting better.

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In reply to daftdazza:

> Beautiful animals and great they are back in most rivers in the UK, good to see them back in Glasgow and Edinburgh city centre.  Famous otter near Arthur seat in Edinburgh, getting a lot of views most days now. The river Kelvin one is harder to spot.

Pretty sure there is now far more than one otter on Arthur's Seat.  Last year, I saw a family of three of them swimming in Dunsapie Loch.  This year it has been crazy: it used to be you had to be in the park after sunset to have a chance, now they are coming out in broad daylight to get their picture taken by tourists.   I saw two of them last week, probably mother and child because one was much smaller, on the path up from Duddingston to Dunsapie loch and one all the way round near the entrance at the palace.

There's also a lot more deer in the park than there used to be.

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In reply to Philip and Dr S:

Sounds like a mixed curried game pie could be a winner !
Thanks, Chaps !

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 henwardian 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

They are cool, aren't they!

I've only seen a couple that I remember but both times they just wandered by without paying me any mind, for a creature that size I find that so surprising. In their place I'd probably be thinking "four legs good, two legs bad, two legs that much bigger than me very bad!".

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 Sans-Plan 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

There has been a pair on the River Kent for a number of years now, they are as bold as brass.

I came across a group marvelling at an Otter in another location, remarking how cute it was and amazing to see, I think I spoiled their day when I pointed out it was in fact a mink.....

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 Billhook 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Some excellent sightings.

I'm just old enough to remember the last otter hounds where I live!!!  Goood riddance!

About 15 years ago I was working on a steel walkway alongside the R.Ilien in Skibbereen town centre (W.Cork!)  2 otters came and fished immediately below us for a good 20 minutes in broad daylight.

I see them often when canoeing up here in the grim North East!

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 capoap 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

There is a local population around the bottom of Llyn Padarn , But last year was the 1st time in years that i haven't had 1 sighting.  I live on the river Seiont and in 30+ years only ever had 1 sighting of mink and that was a family fight (very noisy)   Saw my 1st Salmon last week the 1st in years

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 plyometrics 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

I shed a tear or few when i saw my first one in a small bay on Islay a few years ago. Then, later that evening, I looked out of the window of the place we were staying and saw 2 more playing in the sea!  A good day (a good week-saw a Minke 2 days later)

3 weeks ago sitting outside the tent in Torridon watched one catching fish whilst I ate my less than tasty breakfast!

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In reply to plyometrics:

Brilliant. That is a big salmon. My grandfather was a keen fisherman (helped found Windermere and district angling association) and he never saw a single otter in his life. I’ve seen them on Grasmere, Elterwater, Windermere and Coniston. A few years back I chatted to the lake wardens on Windermere and they knew of 3 family groups in Windermere. 

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 Tom V 15 Nov 2020
In reply to capoap:

It will be a good day when mink control can be left to the otters without humans becoming involved.

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In reply to Andypeak:

Your thread reminded of this that I saw last week

https://twitter.com/toddrjones/status/1324399005380435968

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 deepsoup 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Sans-Plan:

> I came across a group marvelling at an Otter in another location, remarking how cute it was and amazing to see, I think I spoiled their day when I pointed out it was in fact a mink.....

I was convinced I'd seen a young otter for a while the year before last.  I was kayaking on the sea around the corner from Arisaig when it emerged from the water, scuttled up onto some rocks and disappeared.  As I was sitting there wondering if I'd really seen it a curious little head appeared and it looked right at me as I fumbled my camera out of a pocket and took a rubbish blurry snapshot.

It was someone on here who pointed out that was a mink from the photo.  Didn't spoil my day at all, and it was still quite a magical encounter, for all that it's a shame about the 'invasive species' thing and all that.  (Besides, it was by far the less destructive of the two invasive species there at the time!)


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 mike123 15 Nov 2020
In reply to deepsoup: I've seen them  reasonably often in Scotland but only once in 8 years of canoing  and kayaking in Northumberland and never in the lakes , despite spending several evenings trying to spot the pair that were seen by everybody but me on bassenthwaite ( I knew exactly where they lived because one of the wardens at the time  was a friend and showed  me where to sit for a " guaranteed " sighting , but still  the buggers managed to avoid me ). One evening I was biking to the view spot when a very excited old couple stopped me and said " do you know if there are otters living down there ( pointing ) as we think we've just seen one really close . This is our first time ever visiting the lakes " .There at least one pair living on Derwent water this year but I've not seen them . My brother has at least one who has worked out that his ageing springer is never going to catch it and comes to tease it, before jumping in the stream and doing  back flips .

Post edited at 21:02
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 freeheel47 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

They are fantastic creatures. I saw one this year too- on the Lune near Tebay. I believe there are otters in the middle of Manchester on the Irwell (there are some bloody big trout in the Irwell in Manchester too).

There is now a huge amount of wildlife in what were once very dirty places; porpoises and seals in the Mersey, kingfishers in the Sefton Park in the middle of Liverpool- and 2 peregrines on the church tower 150m from my house- in the middle of Liverpool. Amazing.

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 SAF 17 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

I caught a glimpse of a sea otter whilst windsurfing off tiree. 

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 Jenny C 17 Nov 2020
In reply to freeheel47:

I believe that peregrines are now more successful nesting in urban areas than in the 'wild'.

Still amazing to see if them.

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In reply to Jenny C:

Loads of urban peregrines - this is a six month old Wiganer. 


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 ThunderCat 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

I live in a place which has a few nice bits of woodland around but which I wouldn't think of as 'countryside' and yet when I was walking along a bridle path a few months ago I saw a very young deer off in the distance in the middle of the path.  Never seen one before and wasn't aware there were any around here.  

It was almost like one of those cheesy bits of a movie where we both stopped, looked at each other for a few moments and then it just looked away and trotted off into the undergrowth.  

It felt like a very special moment.  

Post edited at 14:59
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 rj_townsend 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

> I just saw my first ever otter. I've been trying to spot one for years and finally saw one today. Believe it or not it was in Nottingham just outside the city centre right near one of the main roads leading into the city. Absolutely beautiful and has made my week. 

Seeing an otter in the wild is one on my bucket list. I've been to a few places where they're supposedly common, but without luck, so have decided to leave it to luck instead rather than making a specific effort. If successful that'll make it even more special

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 Andypeak 18 Nov 2020
In reply to rj_townsend:

Nearly all of my impressive wildlife sightings have been down to luck. I've spent hours sat with binoculars waiting and never really seen anything impressive. 

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 PeakDJ 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

I used to fish the river Don north of Sheffield a lot and was very surprised one year to see an otter regulary while fly-fishing around Wharncliffe....  I now know that there are quite a few on the river between Oughtibridge and Penistone.... great to see them making a stong comeback

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 ring ouzel 18 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

I was given a load of money to spend on otter conservation in 1996. I reasoned that, as they were moving east from their south-west strongholds, it would be good to survey an eastern county, I chose Essex, and then re-survey it 5 years later to see if things had changed. I never got to do the second survey. Uni of Essex did the work for us and confirmed that in 1996 every single river in Essex already had otters. Furthermore, for the first time in decades, otters were reported in Greater London. 

They are not coming back, they are already here. 

In Inverness I sometimes see them fishing on the River Ness in the city centre. Cracking sight!

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In reply to Andypeak:

I was astonished recently to see one in one of the drainage ditches in the farmland on Milnthorpe Marshes. Disappeared very smartly when it saw me. The water's usually pretty murky there and I can't think there's many fish there.

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 Harry Jarvis 19 Nov 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Pretty sure there is now far more than one otter on Arthur's Seat.  Last year, I saw a family of three of them swimming in Dunsapie Loch.  

A friend of mine also reports regular sightings in the canal near Fountainbridge and in the Water of Leith at Leith. 

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 Bob Kemp 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Do you get eels there? They eat them. And it may be the wrong time of year but they’re keen on frogs.

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In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Do you get eels there? They eat them. And it may be the wrong time of year but they’re keen on frogs.

I'm not sure, but I think we might. They have lots at Leighton Moss where I think they're vital for the bitterns. Frogs probably on land at this time of year I'd guess. 

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 Will Hunt 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Out of interest, was that upstream or downstream of the city centre? Do you have a grid reference? It would be interesting to know whether it was downstream of the city's wastewater treatment works.

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 Andypeak 19 Nov 2020
In reply to Will Hunt:

Having had a second look it was in Totle Brook not the Leen. It was just as it goes under Queens Drive. Not sure of the grid ref but it was upstream from the city centre. 

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In reply to Andypeak:

Last week's Westmorland Gazette had a multi-page spread on otters in the R Kent in Kendal, with several readers' pictures. Wonderful! Giving so many people a pleasure boost in these miserable times.

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 plyometrics 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Saw them for the first time this morning! Was just warming down after a run by the river and couldn’t believe my luck. Totally made my day. 

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 Wainers44 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Parked at Ottermill yesterday.  Walked a few miles along the River Otter. Bought an Otter card from the shop afterwards.  Read all the otter information boards. 

Saw no otters. Gutted.

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 David Riley 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Andypeak:

Interesting.  I have always thought the Tottle Brook joined the Leen near QMC, before reaching the river. But Google Maps show it does not.  It's very hard to follow.  Being underground much of the time,  I don't suppose wildlife moves far upstream from the Trent.  Perhaps lights should be put in the pipes ?

Post edited at 10:28
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In reply to Andypeak:

> I just saw my first ever otter. I've been trying to spot one for years and finally saw one today. Believe it or not it was in Nottingham just outside the city centre right near one of the main roads leading into the city. Absolutely beautiful and has made my week. 

Delighted to hear this. I lived local to there - WBridgford and Ruddington - and never saw one. I now live in Newark and haven't heard of any reports/sightings around here.

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 Andypeak 23 Nov 2020
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I've heard that otters are at the rspb reserve near Newark (Langford Lowfields)

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In reply to Andypeak:

Ive been meaning to pay that a visit. Time to get the bins outs me thinks.

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In reply to plyometrics:

> Saw them for the first time this morning! Was just warming down after a run by the river and couldn’t believe my luck. Totally made my day. 

Whereabouts did you see them?

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 plyometrics 23 Nov 2020
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Either side of Stramongate bridge circa 8am this morning. They seem to be hanging about next to, what I think is, the fish pass next to Gooseholme. Lovely sight. 

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