Sunday, 20 March 2011
Where Otters Swim
I seemed to have become obsessed with the Windermere Otters of late. Last week found me making a couple of trips up to Ambleside for hoped for further sightings. For my first trip I was with Paul Foster and after an early departure we were in position at Ambleside Pier around 7a.m. Despite the forecast for more dull weather we had decided to go and we were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful day as we approached Windermere. It was indeed a magnificent day and we soaked up the very welcome Spring sunshine and enjoyed the magnificent scenery.
The otters had other ideas and only Paul had a brief sighting as I checked out the other side of the pier. I did have distant sightings of an otter hunting along the far shore of Windermere and we both decided on a walk out to where the Rivers Brathay and Rothay come into the head of Windermere. We didn't find the otter but enjoyed nice views of a group of goldeneye basking in the sun. We had another quick look at the pier but the otters had retired for the day and we went for a quick look around Grasmere before returning home.
As the forecast was very good for Friday I decided on one more trip North and this time I was at Ambleside Pier around 6a.m. after an early departure from Preston. Once again the weather was magnificent after an early sharp frost and hopes of otter sightings were high. I was very soon rewarded by my first sighting around 6.30a.m of an otter heading for the pier having returned from an early morning hunting foray. Over the next couple of hours I enjoyed wonderful views of the family of otters as they swam and played close to the pier and landing stages. They also swam out to hunt around the boats moored in the bay and could be easily picked out by their distinctive wakes in the water.
I was pleased I had made the effort of a very early start and had been rewarded with yet more wonderful views of these delightful creatures. After a welcome bacon buttie and coffee at the Pier Cafe I had a walk out to the area where Paul and I had previously enjoyed nice views of goldeneye but a pike anglers boat came into the area and succeeded in disturbing the birds. After that I had a trip over to the Langdale area and enjoyed exploring some back roads and noting places which look worthy of further exploration before returning home via the River Kent valley. Here I found some more delightful areas to which I will hopefully soon return. It had been a busy week with two trips to Ambleside and hopefully the images above of otters,goldeneye, and of course the magnificent scenery made it all very worthwhile and I hope my readers also enjoy looking at them.