Otter Survey

Last weekend was the annual survey for the Somerset Otter Group, one of the specialist volunteer groups for the Somerset Wildlife Trust. It was the first year that I’d officially participated, although I did send a report last year for one of the days. It’s a two day event, with the first day being a survey for any visible signs, essentially spraint and/or padding. The second day is designed to look for overnight activity, so only additional fresh signs are recorded.
I was duly given my “patch”, an area that hadn’t been surveyed in previous years and one which came about because of my sightings over the last year or so. Of the six sites I surveyed, two were positive for recent signs, with one possibly showing activity for the previous night, but there was nothing new on the second day.
While I was performing the survey, I witnessed two interesting events. The first was a sparrowhawk on a kill, which I passed literally feet away in my car. The second was a tidal bore wave, something I had never seen before and demonstrated the extreme tidal range that weekend, due to the almost full moon. The wave itself probably travelled at running pace and was almost one foot high at a guess. All in all a successful weekend, even if I didn’t manage to photograph any of the interesting events, as I’d decided to travel light.

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