Sunday, 19 February 2012

Otters again (19/02/2012)

I caught up with the Otters again this morning after blanking on Friday morning. All 3 were a short distance up stream from where I saw them on Thursday, in the reed beds. I followed them up stream as they hunted but found it really difficult to get any good shots, despite some very close encounters. Eventually one of them caught an Eel and came to the bank within 10 metres from my position. Unfortunately it was behind a tangle of brambles but I managed to get the following shot of it chomping a chunk of Eel. Finally it realised I was there and slipped into the water and across to the other side of the river. I could still hear it munching away but it took a while to pin down the location, well hidden in the reeds. I waited but as usual it finished the meal and slipped away, only given away by the hiss of a Mute Swan further up stream. I hurried up there and found the Swans (744 & 384) nest building and the Otter, by this time, on the opposite side of the river. I followed for a little while longer before being given the slip.

Otter eating chunk of Eel
There was little else of note this morning until I crossed the golf course, heading back towards the Mill. A small party of Canada Geese flew over (NE), looking stunning against the clear blue sky.

Canada Geese
Having crossed the golf course I came across a mixed flock of Linnets, Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. The Skylarks were singing well and a couple of Meadow Pipits perched up on the fence obligingly.

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit
 A little further along the trail and I came across a flock of Fieldfares (70+) in the fields between the Mill and Gt. Denham. Singing Skylarks were all around, a wonderful sound. Spring is truly in the air!