Archives for posts with tag: Otter

A good days hunting

I spent about two hours watching this otter hunting around rocks near Grunyard Island in that time he caught a small lobster ,Crabs, Butterfish ,and a couple of large Ling. By the end of the hunt he looked well and truly full . Strong westerly winds for the last few days may have made fishing difficult , so he may well have been making up for lost time . Along the rocky coast line of Scoraig and the surrounding area Otters seem to be doing very well and there seems little shortage of prey. More otter photos from the area can be seen at http://www.scoraigarts.co.uk

Scoraig otter in seaweed

The new otter cubs are spending more time in the water,larger prey caught by the mother is taken to the shore for the young to tear apart . If the mother keeps a fish for herself she is harass by the cubs until she gives it up or until she can find a quiet place away from her young where she can eat in peace.

December Otter

The recent cold snap has led to more otter activity . Otters feed more in cold weather in order to keep up body temperature . They like to make the most of any calm weather for fishing , catching mostly crabs and smaller fish among the weed.

Low tide on Scoraig

At low tide a forest of kelp rises from the sea to carpet the shore, The underwater playground of the Otters lays flat on the beach.Under the kelp the butterfish and crabs hide until the returning sea sets them free once more. The otters make the most of the low tide at which time they can dive to places usually beyond there reach. This shot was taken with a 24mm canon lens on a tripod at f22

Otter and fish

The good weather on scoraig is allowing the otters to find bigger fish , with less silt in the water they seem able to find larger pray .This otter spent about three hours fishing ,eating several large fish ,crabs and butterfish. The thick weed did cause them some problems as they tried to bring fish ashore to eat . This Otter was shot on a 600mm canon lens, the bright conditions allowing a fast shutter speed .

Otter

The Scoraig otters have been making the most of the recent good weather,spending a lot of time in the water fishing for crabs and butterfish.The still conditions make photography difficult ,the sound of the camera shutter carries a long way across the loch. The otters hear the camera but due to there poor eyesight cannot see me unless I move ,this otter was within five meters of me but after a long look he went back to happily fishing along the shore.

otter from nowere

After spending an hour and a half hiding behind a very cold rock on the beach I decided that the otters had far more sense than me and were probably asleep in a warm Holt. As not to waste the morning completely i decided to take some shots of sea urchins on the shore , at very low tide large common sea urchins appear on the beach among the kelp. After half an hour sliding around in kelp it started to snow and it looked like it was time to head home.As I turned to go I saw about four feet behind me an otter sitting eating a large ling, with the only lens with me ,a 135mm I took a number of shots this one included. When the fish was eaten he looked at me cleaned his face very slowly and calmly walked into the water and was gone.Makes you wonder why I spent all that money on a 600mm lens and a camouflage coat and hat .

rain otterCold wet and windy weather is not bothering the Scoraig. Otters do not have the thick layer of blubber to keep out the cold so they depend on there thick fur,sea salt needs to be washed from the coat after hunting as lt reduces its insulating property’s . This otter was on its way to a fresh water pool for a dip after over an hour of of fishing. The image was taken on a 600mm f4 canon lens set on a tripod, he was close enough to hear the camera shutter but luckily I was down wind . When otters are on shore you can get away with low shutter speeds and some of my best shots are taken at around 125th of a second. This may seem very slow but is often necessary in Scotland due to low sun and cloud at this time of year.

Wildlife of Scoraig

Wildlife shot in 2012

photos taken in 2012 around the Scoraig and Donnell area