One of the most charismatic and charming of Britain’s mammals has to be the otter. Spotting the round head bob up on a lake or in a river is a truly magical moment. Webbed hands and feet make them brilliant swimmers and at this time of year when the young are born, a small family can provide hours of entertaining wildlife watching. But surprisingly, these popular creatures have not always done so well in Britain.
In previous decades, the quality of our waterways meant that otters were missing from much of our island home. As they sat at the top of the food chain, any population and habitat loss that affected their prey had a huge impact on otter populations. However, we have since got our act together in this country and are rivers are slowly returning to full health. This can be seen in evidence by the fact that otters have now returned to every county in England. This shows the food chain is once again strong enough to support them and they have taken all the opportunities given to them to spread.
Otters can be found in many different bodies of waters, from large locks and lakes to smaller rivers and streams. Look for track marks by the water’s edge and see if you can find any holts (otter dens) along the bank. The best time to see otters is either at dawn or dusk. They are also very active at night, when they use their large whiskers to feel around for fish.
Giant Spider Discovered in Bolton House!
This week, Bernie from Bolton has sent in an amazing picture of a huge spider. These are often found in garden sheds and even our homes. They are aptly called Giant House Spiders but pose little threat to humans and pets. Nice shot Bernie!
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