Monday 17 January 2022

Otter in the marshes, Cornwall 17th Jan 22

 An early start for me on a frosty winter morning paid dividends with some fantastic views of an otter hunting in the pools and reeds of the marshes.

I first noticed it at about 8 am before the sun had crested the valley sides and my camera settings were really poor, however I still took photos and it came ever closer. 

After about 40 minutes it disappeared into the reeds and didn't show until almost 10 o'clock. This time the light was much better although it didn't venture quite so close.

It was fantastic to watch it swirling in the calm mirrored surface of the pools and a joy to follow its line of bubbles as it went from place to place.

Tracking the underwater movement by watching the line of bubbles

Often the tail is the most visible bit of the otter


The prey must have been in the muddy depths of the pool as it kept surfacing with food but also adorned in mud and weeds. 

Covered in mud so must have been scouring the bottom of the pool

Covered in weeds


Eventually I spotted it come out of the water and trot across the meadow into a drainage ditch but then it showed up again 15 minutes later in another patch of open water. 

Here are a few of the several hundred images I took this morning......

a rare event for it to clamber out of the water

A good set of teeth

Did it hear my camera or smell my toast


Thursday 13 January 2022

Glossy Ibis at Walmsley & the Amble marshes. Jan 2022.


We've had a single Glossy Ibis at Walmsley reserve since September 2021, it was joined by a second bird into October and since then they've stayed in the area venturing out onto the Camel estuary on occasions and into various creeks and adjoining farmland. 

Fast forward to the 22nd December and a flock of 11 turned up at roosting time, to be more precise at 4:36 pm. 

They turned up for 3 consecutive days at that exact time again. 

The numbers then started to rise, one day there were 16 and now on 13th January there are 18 birds.

This beat our previous record of 14 in July 2017.

They have been difficult to photograph as they've been arriving at dusk and leaving at dawn with very few people seeing them during the daytime.

I know they've been seen on a local farmers substantial dung heap and can be seen circling the reserve at times with a group of cattle egrets.

However today I found them on the marshes happily feeding in semi flooded pasture.

All 18 were there but I couldn't get them all in the same photos so you'll need to take my word for that.

Here are some pics from a sunny day on the Amble marshes... a rarity in itself!