Thursday, 4 December 2008

Otter Thoughts

Been a busy day today with little opportunity to get involved with nature, other than watch the garden birds at the feeder opposite the kitchen window. No lyrical musing then but a chance to look at yesterdays picture of the otter spraint I found. There are some fairly sizeable scales in it so the animal had obvioulsy made a good catch. The spraint was about an inch long to give you an idea of size. 

The Frome is a very healthy river, packed with fish of all varieties from pike to trout, so no reason why otters shouldn't be making a good living here. Apart from people and dogs that is.

 Snuff Mills is heavily frequented by the residents of Bristol, out for a stroll, and who can blame them? It's a beautiful spot amongst the grey urban sprawl and an easy place to relax. During the summer it becomes almost unbearably busy and thinking about it - maybe that's why the otters disappear from the area in that season, as I mentioned in the last post. Perhaps the human pressures were just too much? 

I know at Shapwwick Heath reserve in Somereset they banned people from walking dogs and instantly saw a massive increase in otter sightings. Perhaps the animals disappearance over the summer in Snuff Mills could be linked to an increase in people and subsequently the dogs they bring? 

As I've only been monitoring the otters for a year (and very loosely at that) its hard to say. I must keep watching. One thing is for certain though - you wont stop the dogs or the people in the summer - so it's down to the otters to work it out for themselves. That's the reality for nature with 21 st century living. And Good luck to them.

I downloaded a tawny owl call today from the internet. I've got it on my ipod and will take it and its base station out into the woods soon to see if I can call an owl in. I'll let you know how it works out.

No comments: