Noisy Seal, Silent Otter

It’s currently exceptionally stormy and wet down here in Devon and Cornwall. So there’s not a hope of venturing out into the open sea, and even the coast is a bit dodgy and requires careful planning to avoid battering by a hefty swell.

Simon and I had a very enjoyable trip along the sheltered east-facing coast at Teignmouth during a weather window.

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Simon

Thanks for this next pic, Simon.

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thelonekayaker

We nearly bumped in to this seal that was resting (‘logging’) at the surface. It didn’t seem to appreciate the intrusion and let us know all about it. I apologise if I approached too close but we really didn’t see it until the last second, and it was right in the middle of a gap between two rocks. At least we were in silent, slow-moving, easy to avoid, craft. It wouldn’t have been so good if we were a speedboat with a propeller.

 

On the more windy days the only option is to find a bit of water as far away from the exposed coast as possible, in as narrow a creek as possible, and beneath as high a hill as possible. And the more tortuous the estuary the better, as it baffles and breaks up the wind.

Here’s what I mean. About as sheltered from the strong wind as you can get, but unfortunately not a lot of protection from the lashing rain.

 

However there’s always a pleasant scene to enjoy:

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Morwellham

and a bit of history to investigate, if that is your thing.20190929_080606

Or a bit of mindboggling Victorian architecture:

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Calstock Viaduct

I spend most of my time, while slipping silently along these sheltered creeks, straining my eyes for the slightest hint of movement, or ripple, as far ahead of me as I can see.

And I was lucky enough to see this dog otter beside an estuary which was broad enough for it to not be disturbed by my presence. I’m pretty sure it was a dog otter anyway, it certainly seemed very long. Look at the distance between its head and the tip of its tail.

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Otter

You will see from this still, and subsequent videos, that he has got a few white whiskers and some more white hairs on his throat. You can also see him lifting his head to have a good sniff as he slithers along. He can probably scent me but he knows I am far enough away to not represent a threat.

maybe I am reading too much into a relatively fleeting view, but I think this was an older dog otter that was completing his nightly patrol of his patch of riverbank. They have such a large territory that it is a struggle to fit it all in during the hours of darkness.

 

 

Seeing an otter is absolutely always very, very exciting because they are so incredibly difficult to observe.

And it more than compensates for the rather autumnal weather.

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Whitebeard the Otter

 

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