Wind tunnel testing; Otter Safari 02/03/2015

by on Apr.01, 2015, under Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Otter, Southeast Northumberland

Wild and windy conditions invariably lead to fewer wildlife sightings, and it’s easy to understand why getting your head down and avoiding suffering the effects of the wind as far as possible is a good idea…

I collected Colin, Carol, Jessica, Alex and Tom (and Kelsey and Winnie) from Lowick and we headed down the coast towards Druridge Bay and southeast Northumberland for a day searching for Otters.  The pressure of having a particular target species is one thing…but the pressure of having a client who works with your father-in-law is something else altogether 🙂  Cormorant, Grey Heron, Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck and Mallard were all battling against the wind, which had whipped up the surface of the rivers and pools into a frothy white mess.  Site A didn’t produce an Otter, Site B didn’t produce an Otter…so on to Site C, and yet more white water.  A noticeable movement of Tufted Duck, Mallard and Canada Goose away from one side of the pond heralded the arrival of the star of the show and we watched an Otter for nearly an hour as it twisted, turned and dived.  Each time it surfaced we could see that it was chomping on some small prey item, but then it surfaced with a big Eel which it slowly dragged towards the edge of the pond before disappearing into the reeds.  A few minutes later it was back out and hunting, travelling quickly along one side of the pond before again vanishing from sight.

Winnie (possibly the tiniest dog I’ve ever seen) provided some insight into the absence of wildlife in windy conditions, as she kept laying down facing directly into the wind.  I’m sure if she could have, she would have crept off into a nearby reedbed to get even more shelter 🙂

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Colin

    It looked so nice as we peered through the curtains a bright sunny day full of possibilities. Martin knocked on the door and upon opening it the wind rushed in. Winnie still the smallest dog in the world almost took off but was to excited to notice.

    Wrapped in extra coats we set off. After visiting several windswept sites we were rewarded with sight of an Otter which played and hunted in front of us until we were too cold to stay any longer.

    Colin, Carol, Jessica, Alex and Tom

    Thanks to Martins patience and knowledge we had a cold but rewarding day.

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