Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Monday, 10 June 2013

W’Otter Treat

My quest for sighting otters on the river was getting obsessive, patrolling the banks of the river at 5 am in the early morning light and again as the evening drew in and light began to fade. No success again. As I went to bed last night I set the alarm for 4am, surely there was a chance of seeing these elusive creatures then.

And I was rewarded for stirring from my warm comfortable bed.  As I walked up river just above the lock I could see the water was agitated and I stood still, on the opposite bank there was some activity, could it be…. yes it was, an otter just slipping into the water.

I tried to move in closer, and as it surfaced, it saw or heard me and dived back in again, then I noticed another movement and there was one more, no, two more, and off they went up river together.  Moving on I got to a spot where I could get closer to the edge and watched as they swam together, diving and playing, then they came to the edge too, and I could see them more clearly.  OOhhh I was so excited, snapping my camera, hoping there would be something to show, to prove my tale.

Now if I show you, promise you won’t laugh….  I don’t think I’m going to make wildlife photographer of the year, (camera must be rubbish!)… It was early, the light was not good, they were on the move, excuses, excuses….

Oh alright then, here goes……



swimming towards me, an otter, my first sighting of otters in the wild.  Hooray!






Coming out onto the bank, I kept very still, but they knew I was there.






Right out on the bank, I had guessed this might be an otter playground, but my presence sent them back into the water.






Can you see all three, two of them are humps in the water, oohh I was thrilled by my early outing.

I followed them up above the town bridge, till the path was away from the river edge.  What a brilliant start to the day.


  1. Hi Karen & Ian, Karen well done for your efforts you have been well rewarded, like the Koala photo I sent you, I have been riding the river track near my house for 6 years and only seen two Koalas in that time, so I know how pleased you are with yourself.
    David in OZ.

  2. Wonderful! Lucky you! James saw an otter on the bank beside our boat one evening, but I was inside and missed it!

    1. Jill, Matilda Rose10 June 2013 at 14:34

      Hooray - you did it - we were soooooo excited when we saw them but we were also helped by their tracks in the snow. Are the two pairs of Kingfishers still there and entertaining you?
      That has to be one of my most favourite place ever

    2. Thanks, David, Amy, Jill,
      It sure was worth the 4am alarm call.
      Have seen the kingfishers flying past, but the leaves on the trees now meant I've not had the view you had.
      'Tis a lovely spot.

  3. Wow! How fantastic to have seen Otters, your hard work and early mornings rewarded, thanks for sharing the pictures, you are so lucky to have seen them in the wild, amazing. x

  4. What a fantastic sight to see, June would love to see one but has never been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Your efforts certainly paid off and I am sure it will be a moment to treasure for all time.
    Bob and June

  5. Lucky you! We have just been chatting to a fisherman who told us he has seen a family of 6 otters on the Leicester Arm near Yelvertoft. We were moored near there one night recently when we heard lots of noise in the water, if we had known it could have been otters we would have got up and had a look. An opportunity missed.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

    1. You will be on some rivery bits on your trip, there's a chance you may get another opportunity.

  6. 4.00am! Crikey I am just about in bed....good on ya!

  7. Wonderful! What a treat and definitely worth the 4.00am wakening!