Tuesday 25 January 2011

On the trail of the Otter - gettting closer to filming every day

On Friday afternoon there was thick fog covering Middlewich so I had not planned to do any filming today  and when I got in from work I was informed by my brother that when he was filling up the bird feeder down by the river an Otter swam from the opposite side of the bank and into the water and swam down river. After hearing this we set off back down the river Dane to where the Otter was seen and after searching down river about 400 metres away from where the Otter was seen were 4 clear Otter prints coming out from the river but they were heading upriver. so I am guessing the animal was heading upriver but was disturbed by my brother so it headed into cover for safety.
On the following day we set off to see if the Otter had left any more signs and the big question I wanted to know was did it continue going upriver or did it go back down river on the previous night.
 I knew there was a sprainting spot upriver so I wondered if there would be fresh tracks there and there was as well as fresh spraint from the night before so I will mark the date on the calender and when the Otter leaves prints going downstream I will count the amount of days between the Otter going upriver and returning back down as this usually is the animal reaching the end of its territory but depending on what sex the Otter is will effect how far the Otter travels as a male can travel 10 miles in one night!!!. 
The very important sprainting rock
With the information collected I can make an educated guess of when the Otter will return the spot so I can set my camera trap up by the spraint spot a few nights in row and get the Otter footage that I have been trying to get but then the real challenge begins in following the Otter river upstream and setting up a barrage cameras ready to capture footage of this very elusive animal.

More coming tomorrow   
As I continued upriver in search for more signs of the Otter - hopefully I can measure the footprints and workout the sex of the Otter that I have tracked over 2 Miles upriver. This is one the hardest tasks I have ever set myself but I think this is the closest I have ever been to filming an Otter on my local patch which as of yet has not been documented by photograph or video.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent bit of detective work Mike. Look forward to learning how things progress.