Saturday, October 20, 2012

An otter's leftovers beside the drain..?

Despite the number of otters I've seen in recent weeks, this bream we found yesterday is the first carcass I've found which looks like an otter's had a hand in it.

It was some distance from the water, half way up the floodbank, on a stretch where there's a sheer bank too high for even an otter to drag a fish of this size up.

It must have dragged it for 10yds or so, from a bit of bank that's collapsed into the drain. Looking at the displaced scales, whatever hauled it up the bank grabbed it near the wrist of its tail. I'm not sure if the otter dragged the fish up the bank and left it for something else - perhaps a mink or even rats to dine on.

The drain's got large shoals of bream around this size in it, so one down's no great drama in the scheme of things. I did see what looked like spraint a few yards down the bank, but with the rain and other disturbance on the bank it was hard to tell for sure.

I remain convinced otters aren't the menace they're made out to be. Not to our wild fish populations, at least. But I have to admit to becoming increasingly fascinated by these creatures, as they recolonise our waterways.

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