Trail Camera Videos 03: Otter

Otters (Lutra lutra) make use of both coastal habitats and freshwater habitats such as Sheskinmore Lough, its drainage river and surrounding reedbeds. If you are patient and lucky, you might see otters fishing near the rocks at Ballinreavy Strand or even bringing their catches ashore to eat. Early morning is the best time to observe them.

Otters living by the coast require access to freshwater to wash the salt from their fur and keep it waterproof. The easiest route from the rocks at Ballinreavy Strand to Sheskinmore Lough and river is over the low section of dunes about half-way along Ballinreavy Strand. Otter footprints and spraints can often be found here. Elsewhere the eroding dunes seem too tall and vertical to climb. Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) also use this lower section of dunes to move to and from the beach.

Below is trail camera footage of an otter (probably the same individual?) recorded at this location on the evenings of 13th and 16th December 2018 and the mornings of 20th, 23rd and 26th December 2018. The short recordings have been edited into a single video. It is interesting that the otter seems to be regular in its movements, passing this point approximately every three days. It also seems to more regularly use the route for moving from the Strand towards the Lough rather than vice-versa. When going the other way, it may follow the river down to the Strand. This individual looks quite small for an otter and is hence more likely to be a female.

 

On this occasion thanks must go to the human visitors who kindly did not steal the camera or otherwise interfere with it!

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