Wednesday 26 January 2011

Plaster casting Otter prints

  I bought some plaster of paris today to make some plaster casts of the Otter prints so I can try and workout if there is one Otter or more by comparing the size of the casts. When I went down to the river today to make some casts of the prints the river had risen and washed them away as  we had alot of rain last night but it will leave a blank canvas for when the Otter returns back down the river giving another opportunity to get casts.
  On my way back home I walked along the canal towpath which is only about 100 metres away from the river Dane which flows alongside and under a bridge where I film a Swallows nesting in the summer I found a spraint by the waters edge. I new that the Otters in the area would be using the canal as a travel route and as a food source but this is the first sign I have seen and as there is no mud by the canal its impossible to find prints so I now have another spot where I can check for spraint.
  After finding the spraint by the canal I began to wonder if we had more than one Otter in the area or was this the same Otter using the canal to get round a waterfall that is about 500m upriver from where the animal left the river to get onto the canal.
After looking at the spraint more closely I think that it seemed much fresher so I think its a different Otter as all the human foot traffic and dogs along this stretch would easily knock the spraint into the canal. If this area is sprainted more often I am guessing thats its a resident Otter catching fish on the canal due to the river flooding and causing bad conditions for hunting as the water becomes a red colour due to the higher banks made of mud and sand collapsing into the river.

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