Wednesday 2 February 2011

On the trail of the Otter - A discovery on a woodland stream

 After a few days off the search for Otters I decided it was time to find a new spot where they are more active and my search took me to the other side of my town. I have posted a aerial view of where I found the first spraint spot. The other reason I wanted to find a new place was because I needed a safer spot where I could leave a camera to film Otters for a few weeks at a time and only check every few days.
Red spot - First spraint spot
Blue spot - New area 
 On my way to my new area for the search for Otters I walked a few miles by the canal but as soon as we got on the canal I noticed signs straight away but this time under every canal bridge there were at least 4-5 spraints of varying age and some was very fresh and under every bridge an area was marked with spraint until we came to a double bridge which had lots built up and at least 5 fresh spraints from previous nights each one looked a day older. 
Next to this bridge is large woodland which is full of mixed trees from Oak to ferns to Hazel and I have explored many a time over the last few years and is great for Badgers, Foxes, Hares ,Mink , Rabbits and many other mammals and birds. This area seems a great place for Otters and a very mixed habitat not only is there a wood which has a stream flowing through the middle, there is also a river where the stream flows into. 
Across the other side of the river there is a large well stocked fishing lake which makes it great place for them to get an easy meal, most of the surrounding area is farmland. After arriving at the wood I wanted to check the stream first as this is usually the best place to start due to the muddy areas along the stream and is a great place to find tracks and about halfway up the stream was a patch of mud with lots of a fresh Otters tracks probably a few days old due to this area being flooded and the stream level going down a couple of days before.
  I had at last found a safe place where there could be an Otter Holt and my chance to not only to film an Otter on my local patch but to film Otters breeding on mmy local patch would be the best result. 
I think I will now focus my attention on this area and set up some cameras over the next few weeks to capture a photograph of an Otter before trying to film. 
As the sun began to go down and the only access to this wood is about 2 miles down the canal I set off back home and I will explore the area more tomorrow to look for a Holt and try to track the Otter upstream to see where it went and downstream to see where the animal entered the woodland.


  1. Good Luck. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River.

  2. I feel so close to filming them now.

  3. It is all looking very promising. Good luck Mike.