I saw otter last weekend. Or should I say two otters, a female and a well grown cub.
The animals were playing in the sea about 50 metres offshore, diving down and coming up with crabs (Velvet swimming crabs I think) and butterfish. They porpoised through the water from one patch of rock outcrops to another. Occasionally above the din of the rain on the Landrover roof you could hear a whistled squeak as they called to each other. They were amazingly vigorous swimmers, travelling at pace across the bay; in the water and then up on to an exposed rock to scratch or play with each other.
Just the two of us in a Landrover in the rain, on a grey day watching the otters, and the grey seals bobbing in the deeper water. It was fantastic and a privilege of timing and luck. Otters have recovered from the persecution they once suffered and the effects of organochlorine pesticides and oil pollution.
Otters are doing fairly well in Scotland and have come back to many lowland rivers across England too. But they are pretty rare over much of western Europe.
I will long remember that grey afternoon, when watching the telly with a mug of tea was the alternative option. Get out and enjoy I say!