Duck Duck Duck Otter

Not often do I actually set out on a pursuit where the pursuit itself is to spot nature things doing nature things. Wildlife spotting is something I enjoy doing as part of other activities. For example, while biking up a hill you might see mice or birds dart out the way. Maybe when you get to the top and recover your breath, you appreciate the view and see a buzzard floating around in the valley beneath you. Or while sipping coffee and chatting, you see the birds doing relay races back and forward to the feeders on the window.

And that pretty much summed up our day today. 

We headed off just the two of us to walk up our hill. It’s the hill we have decided to get married upon and we wanted to see it again to check we like it and see how long it would take to walk up there – 30 mins, not too bad. Ideally, we will get to open the forest gate at the bottom and drive most of the way up. It will save us walking up in a suit and dress, but it’s not guaranteed. 

After that, we headed to the Coffee Bothy nearby. Here they have really nice cakes, coffee and photographs of the surrounding wildlife and wilderness. The chaps that run the place are really nice and really look after you.  They have an African Grey Parrot called Kara who sits in the cafe and talks to the guests. She’s even got her own gin flavoured with her favourite treats! We planned to have our wedding breakfast here, but they have decided to sell the shop, so we might have to find somewhere else.

We were cooking today, so we stopped in Morrisons to get supplies for bangers and mash with peas and gravy. This was followed with ice cream, sauce and sprinkles, it was a 5 year olds supper! But probably not a very smart one, because we were all super hyper when we agreed to go Otter spotting nearby. It wasn’t long before the sugar wore off and we found ourselves staring at an increasingly dark, midge infested cove waiting for something to happen.

While waiting, we saw some other wildlife and heard owls hooting away. Eventually there was some movement spotted in the distance on the surface of the water. Kay got some photos in that direction, but then it was gone and we carried on waiting. Suddenly, Kai saw it again further along the coast, “it’s gotta be an Otter laying on his back!”. And we all scrambled to get a good look, Edd and Mel even removing their midge head nets to see better. 

It kept ducking under the water, presumably looking for food on the sea bed before surfacing again. Tired as we were, it was wonderful to watch, surrounded by the huge mountains, beautifully still water and picturesque cottages in the twilight. After a while it floated closer to our position and Tim said quietly to me, “I’m not sure that’s an otter…” as he showed me a photo he had taken. It was clearly a duck… haha! 

We had been there over an hour and spent at least 20 minutes saying how amazing it was and spotting it bob in and out of the view, just to be staring at a duck!

We headed back home feeling a bit silly. But after reviewing Kay’s photos we definitely did see an otter the first time – if briefly. It was up on the banks and then gone so quickly. She got a few good snaps, so the evening wasn’t a complete bust.