Dodging the showers; Otter mini-Safari 27/05/2015

by on May.28, 2015, under Druridge Bay, Otter, Southeast Northumberland

A weather forecast that ‘promises’ heavy rain for the entire duration of an evening with clients isn’t what we would hope for, but you can’t always trust the forecast…

As I arrived at Church Point, followed soon after by Lesley and Andrew, the rain was falling steadily and the sky looked ever so slightly ominous.  Gordon and Mandy arrived a few minutes later and we set 0ff on an evening exploration of Druridge Bay and southeast Northumberland in search of Otters.  Our first site revealed a skittish Mallard, although we couldn’t see what was spooking it, Little Egret, Common Terns and very close views of a Mink.  The weather had improved by this point, although there were still some ominous dark clouds away to the west as we headed north along Druridge Bay.  A Barn Owl broke off from hunting and perched obligingly on a fence post for several minutes, before launching a persistent attack on a male Marsh Harrier that was quartering the reeds.  Tufted Ducks were looking very alert, as were a pair of Great Crested Grebes, although we couldn’t be certain whether this was because of the harrier or another threat that we couldn’t see.  A Mute Swan pair with nine fluffy cygnets seeemd unconcerned and, as dusk approached, we positioned ourselves overlooking a spot where I was reasonably confident we’d find an Otter.  With hardly a breath of wind, and an overcast sky, viewing conditions were near perfect; very still water and a pale surface against which anything moving, particularly anything dark, would stand out…

After a few minutes Mandy spotted something swimming along and diving, just visible above the tops of the reeds in front of us, and we were soon all watching an Otter 🙂  After a few minutes of feeding it changed direction and headed quickly straight across the pool and out of sight into the reeds.  Then the dark clouds arrived overhead, accompanied by a strong breeze and heavy rain…

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