Tired and emotional; Bespoke Otter Safari 10-11/04/2015 Part 2

by on Apr.14, 2015, under Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Otter, Southeast Northumberland

…I was mulling over the options for last light when the buzzing from my pocket told me I’d received a text message.  Not from Sarah, but from Stephen “Hi Martin.  If you’re stuck for Otters…”

A quick dash along the track back to the car, a quick car journey down the coast, and we were soon staring intently at a duck-covered pond.  A little bit of panic amongst the ducks, but no sign of an Otter.  We always want our clients to see the wildlife that they desire, but in this case Georgia was so excited at the prospect of seeing an Otter, and we’d put in so much effort in pretty unpleasant weather conditions, that I was willing one to appear…even though I know that’s not how wildlife sightings tend to work.  With falling light levels I tend to put my binoculars down and just scan with my eyes, so that’s what I did, not just because that’s my usual approach but also because I was chilled to the bone from earlier in the afternoon, shivering and barely able to hold my binoculars steady…and a brief dark shape rolling at the surface in the middle distance was just what I was looking for.  Switch to binoculars while giving directions to everyone else in the hide…and the Otter popped up into view 🙂  A second animal appeared briefly a couple of times but this one was obligingly hunting back and forth along the edge of a reedbed.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a client so overwhelmed by wildlife, so much so that I could have cried.  The Otter created a problem all of it’s own…there was no way we were going to get Georgia to leave the hide while it was still showing, and last food orders at The Swan were rapidly approaching.  The girls knew what they were planning to eat though so a quick ‘phone call to Sarah, who was on her way to the pub, sorted the issue of getting their order in on time.  Eventually it was so dark that Otter, reedbed and water’s edge merged into one and we headed back to The Swan.

I’d arranged to take the girls back to Newcastle to catch their train on Sunday morning, but a text from Alan changed our timings slightly and soon I was standing on the dunes at Cambois with Fran, Georgia and Sarah…watching a small group of Bottlenose Dolphins through the mist, rain and, yes, once again, bone-chilling wind 🙂


2 Comments for this entry

  • Georgia

    Thank you so much Martin for putting in so much effort so that I could see an otter.
    It was ‘otterly’ amazing!
    The whole trip was worth all the weather we endured! Thank you again!!

  • martin

    Hi Georgia,

    So glad you enjoyed it, and it was a real pleasure to spend two (and a bit) days sharing Northumberland’s wildlife with yourself and Fran. You really deserved that otter, for your bubbly enthusiasm, and you earned it by enduring the weather 🙂 Even mid-winter trips usually aren’t as cold as that!


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