24 January 2015

Otter feeding in Fall Bay

I guess I am not alone in thinking that Otters are usually associated with rivers, streams and estuaries, rather than rocky coasts. Although I am aware of previous Otter sightings in the Rhossili area, I have never seen one here, despite over a quarter of a century of walking the cliffs in the Mewsalde-Fall section of the coast. Until today, that is. A whiskery head popped up in Fall Bay this morning and at first my assumption was that it was a seal (which would have been a a good sighting, anyway). But as it dived it was clear that it was very slender, with a long tail: this was a big Otter, not a seal.


I watched it diving for fish for a few minutes and then it surfaced with a pretty big fish (250-300mm long, I guess).


It then swam towards the mouth of the bay and disappeared under water for a short time.Soon afterwards it appeared on the rocks under Tears Point, at the outer edge of Fall Bay, and spent about eight minutes eating the fish before sliding back into the sea.





I feel I was very lucky to see this happening and to be able to photograph it.




8 comments:

chris brewer said...

Absolutely stunning photos, would expect to see these in a magazine!

Thomas Guest said...

Wow!

Anonymous said...

Ive seen one twice whilst surfing. Once in Blue Pool and once in Rhossili.....but no camera! Jem

Rachel Hopkins said...

Lovely! Well spotted. Rachel

Dan Forman said...

What a lovely set of images Philip. I am currently running a coastal otter project where we are collating all coastal otter records in wales and England and this is an excellent record for us as well! http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150116-coastal-homes-for-otters
Would you mind if I could have permission to have access to the images at all? The fish looks like a blenny / goby to me and this is a prime spot for females with young latter on in the spring.

Thanks, Dan Forman (d.w.forman@swansea.ac.uk)

Philip Croft said...

Hi Dan,
I have already sent you an email about this sighting, but it was to a different email address. You are welcome to use any of the images; there are many more as well as the ones I posted. I have also now had time to improve them a bit; the exposure was very tricky because I had to shoot into the sun but Photoshop was able to help. I'll also send this message as an email so that you can get in touch direct.

Paul Parsons said...

Very nice photos Philip. Colin Gittins and I saw two Otters in the sea at Southgate last March.

Paul Tabor said...

That was me Paul lol