Otters at Craignure


The first evening on Mull, we went for a walk along the shore and I noted that it looked ideal for otters, with its boulders, seaweed and kelp. Sure enough, we soon spotted the "ring of bright water" and spent about twenty minutes watching the otter catching crabs.

When the otter dived, it usually spent no more than 10 to 15 seconds before it reappeared at the surface with a crab. It then swam to the shore, the crab's legs waving frantically in front of its nose, where it polished off its victim.

While the otter was underwater, I moved a few yards across the boulder-strewn shore in order to get closer, and then crouched motionless beside a rock when it surfaced. Unfortunately, I picked up a crowd of midges as I went, so I paid dearly for my pictures. I can still feel the bumps and they are itching as I write!

The following evening, there were two otters in much the same spot, but we seemed to have arrived just as they finished their meal of crabs. One finished off its meal and then joined the other, playing in the sea.

One otter seemed slightly larger, seemed more adept, and spent more timne under water than the other, so we speculated that we were watching a mother with her nearly full grown cub.

On another evening, this chap was catching crabs and playing with another otter as dusk fell, and I managed to get close just in time before the light failed.



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All text and graphics © Pat Bennett 1996-2005

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