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Are you seeing otters during the day?

Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 19:54 UK time, Tuesday, 1 June 2010

If you're a late owl or an early bird you might have caught the amazing live pictures of otters on the webcams last night and again this morning. But, contrary to popular opinion, otters aren't just nocturnal.

Due to persecution, habitat loss and pesticides, their numbers declined so drastically that by the 1950s otters were missing from much of England. And if you're at risk the best thing to do is to hide from humans and go nocturnal.

But conservation efforts now mean that the otter is on the up. Which is why we're seeing them more and more during the day. Remember when Chris and Kate saw a mother and cubs in broad daylight while filming Autumnwatch in Pembrokeshire? It seems the otter is getting bolder.

What about you eagled-eyed Springwatchers? Have you seen otters during the day? Please tell us by commenting below.


  • Comment number 1.


  • Comment number 2.

    Seen otters very regularly in the past and daily at the moment at a local freshwater loch in Morayshire Scotland, active throughout the day, and today watched a female for almost an hour, regularly mobbed by the nesting Common Terns and Black Headed Gulls everytime she surfaced very close right in front of the hide I was in. She also has 2 well grown cubs at the moment.

  • Comment number 3.


  • Comment number 4.

    We lived for 20+ years on the banks of the River Severn just outside Welshpool (and sometimes in the river ......). We regularly saw otters in the daytime, once a pair playing chase in the river, one memorable day when we had a party and a young otter entertained everyone for about 5 minutes by wandering back and forth on the opposite bank, and many times when we were crushing apples for the annual cider-making they were around and in clear sight. Never took a pic, unfortunately, but a great picture in our minds.

  • Comment number 5.

    During the bad weather when it was really snowy a group of 4 otters were regularly seen on the Wensum, actually in town right outside The Wensum Lodge Hotel!!

  • Comment number 6.

    On the last Saturday in March we were walking alongside the river Dee at Erbistock Water Mill, it was 9.30am, when an Otter swam towards us on the bank of the Mill Pool. This really made our day.

  • Comment number 7.

    We saw 4 otters on 14th January and 3 on 30th Jan this year, looked like a mother and her 2 cubs, on the River Avon near Bath. Both days were around 9.00 - 9.30 in the morning. They have been heard early last week at at midnight, so hopefully we may get to see them again soon.
    Video footage and a couple of still shots were taken and can bee seen on flickr.

  • Comment number 8.

    Single otters seen on a regular basis on the Usk & under the main bridge coming into Brecon in Wales.
    Mother & cubs seen at night & seemingly not at all worried by humans.
    They were reintroduced a number of years ago on the Honddu river a tributary of the Usk & appear to be thriving.

  • Comment number 9.

    On the river stourLNR Bournemouth Dorset we have been seeing and taking their pictures for awhile now.The usual time we see them is when the river is abit higher then normal and the time of day has been about mid-morning & mid-afternoon.

    There are some pictures on the Stour Valley Supporters website.

    Great show CU

  • Comment number 10.

    I have seen three otters at leighton moss n r in the lakes lots of times this year. at times about 100 ft away .mere so in the middle of the pool

  • Comment number 11.

    We saw an otter at LD8 2LS, near Presteigne, at 7am on the 17th of May. The otter took 4 mallard ducklings of approx 2 weeks in age.

    The remaining 4 mallard ducklings are still present and we wish to know if the otter is likely to return for a second helping?

  • Comment number 12.

    While visiting Bodenham Lake (SO525515 28/02/10), my sister and I were treated to a mother and her two cubs walking/ swimming past the hide.It was about 10.30am and they had been annoying the ducks while skirting the edge of the lake, it felt like such a privilege to see them so close to the hide.

  • Comment number 13.

    I haven't seen an otter in daylight, but yesterday (Weds 2nd June) at 4.30pm my friend & I saw a MOLE crossing the A259 between Chichester & Bognor Regis (West Sussex). It just shuffled across the road in front of our car in the traffic procession at the start of the rush hour here. It was lucky my friend likes to keep a safe distance from the car in front or we wouldn't have seen it, & could possibly have squished it... We can't think why this secretive creature was out on such a blisteringly hot day, walking across a busy tarmac'd road - any ideas?

  • Comment number 14.

    we have been seeing otters on the norfolk broads since 2002, all in daylight.winter and summer, most years we,ve seen in excess of 10 and some years 15. we tend to go later evening as it seems the best time for
    seeing them, however we have seen them in the middle of the day as well.
    TODAY, we have just seen flying over our house 6 CRANES. we live 2 miles north of north walsham norfolk, 8 miles from hickling norfolk were we have seen CRANES before.

  • Comment number 15.

    Found a dead dog otter on the A12 at Gt. Yarmouth on May 31st,10, and a female otter on the M11 in Cambridgeshire in May. Aconite.

  • Comment number 16.

    I have only ever seen 3 otters in the wild. One was at night 20+ years ago on the river Severn at Cound Lodge but the other two were in bright sunlight and were within 15 metres and were around for over 10 minutes (they were on the opposite bank). I was surprised by how unafraid they were of me, as I believed them to very timid creatures and no they were not mink (I know what they look like and have seen them on dozens of occasions!). The one sighting was on the River Teme in Ludlow (it had caught a fish and ate it rather noisily) and the other more surprisingly, or maybe not, was on the tidal part of the River Wharfe just north of Cawood in North Yorkshire. I suppose theres no obvious reason why they would not inhabit tidal stretches but this one seemed to be just splashing around and hauling itself onto a muddy piece of bank and then off again and then on etc. That last sighting was about 10 years ago.

  • Comment number 17.

    In January this year we were by the riverside at Blackpool Mill near Tenby and an otter swam under the ice at the waters edge and came out onto the bank just three feet away. It soon dived back in when it saw us. This was about midday. We were also lucky to see a kingfisher at the same time swim up river and then up a small side stream opposite us.

  • Comment number 18.

    Myself and a photographer friend where looking for Barn Owls at Tophill Low nature reserve in East Yorkshire a few weeks ago, I spotted the Otter about an hour before sunset. here's the proof http://www.flickr.com/photos/erik_jensen1/4578576834/

  • Comment number 19.

    I've seen otters in the River Teifi at Cardigan Town bridge and further up river in the Teifi Marshes Wildlife Centre 8 times over the last year. Last spring they had 3 kits under the quay in Cardigan. In February this year I saw 4 otters hunting together from the viewing point in the Wildlife Centre. I feel very privelidge to have seen them so often and so close in day time.

  • Comment number 20.

    Yes we saw one in the river Fowl and it was fishing.

  • Comment number 21.

    Regularly see them during walks with the dogs (!) - fossicking about in the rocks near my village in Ross-shire, Highlands.

    Also used to have a huge dog otter sit on my garden wall to sun himself when I lived in Shetland! I swear he was GRINNING at the sound of my labrador going nuts in the house!

  • Comment number 22.

    Despite seeing plenty of otters, to my despair the only BADGERS I've ever seen in the UK (moved back 12 years ago) have been dead on the side of the road :( And I think badgers are fabulous creatures! ...not just because I read Wind in the Willows as a child...

    And now a cull? Sigh.

  • Comment number 23.

    hi there a few months ago i was out looking for kingfishers to no joy when walking back up the side of the river i thought by thats a big fish but it was actually to otters one dissappeared and the other one i got a video and photos this was a place called wansford in east yorkshire

  • Comment number 24.

    I live in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders and we have had Otters in the Galawater for several years now. I haven't seen them during the day yet this year, though others have, but I have seen them at night and often hear them calling to each other. In other years I have seen them and once saw the mother playing in the water with her kits about 10:00 am for ages. Even more amazing is that the best place to see them is right next to a busy DIY store and an area used by cyclists and walkers. One of our local fellows has lots of footage of them and has been collecting info for about 6 years. The best time to see them is later in the year when the salmon run and the kits are a bit older but you can see their trails next to the river, and during winter, when the river was frozen, there were loads of tracks left in the snow. We also have Kingfishers and one of my favorites Dippers. Plus lots of bats skimming the water all summer. How lucky are we?

  • Comment number 25.

    Strumpshaw RSPB in Norfolk often reveals otters during the day, including one I saw from around 3 yards away.

  • Comment number 26.

    I live in Tintern and we have otters in the River Wye. We have not seen them for a few weeks but saw them on about 4 occasions whilst walking on the river footpath. I know other locals who have seen them more frequently.

    Simon Morgan

  • Comment number 27.

    On a recent visit to Dumfries, 5th June, we were lucky to see an adult otter, in the River Nith, Dumfries Town Centre, at 16.40 hrs, fishing next to the weir.
    Otter seemed unafraid as small crowd gathered to watch, indeed it came within 10/20ft on riverside walk, caught 2 eels, stayed in area for 45 mins, managed to get several good photos, informed Council Wildlife Officer who states, received several reports recently of otters in this area.

  • Comment number 28.

    13th Oct: about 10am we watched a pair of otters swim and play before coming ashore on seaweed and rocks for a few minutes to eat what looked like a crab. Photos posted on Flickr 2 weeks ago.

  • Comment number 29.

    Today {28 06 10), at aroud 5pm my girl friend and i saw an otter runnig along the river bank ( River wear)at durham towards chester-le- street. Has any body else seen otters in this area, as we did not think you could get otters in our area.

    can any comfirm if sightings

  • Comment number 30.

    We have a "pow" running through our garden and see otters regularly during the day (early morning and evening) and hear them at night. (A pow in Dumfries & Galloway is a sort of tidal burn - ours runs into the River Nith.) Haven't seen them for a month or so as the water is so low at the moment but hear them yipping most nights.

    Am sorry to report we have not seen a kingfisher since the winter. Maybe it was too hard for them?

  • Comment number 31.

    4th July 2010
    I have just seen an otter on the River Dore in Herefordshire in Abbeydore. As I leant over the bridge a Mallard was rushing to get her single duckling to shelter - I thought it was me she was scared of. Instead an adult otter came downstream and then came out of the water on a gravel spit no more than three metres away from me and paused before swimming downstream. What a moment!

  • Comment number 32.

    My father in law seen a otter with her baby's in middlewich cheshire on the trent canal walking on the overflow wich flows into the river dane mid afternoon around 4pm on sun 4th jly

  • Comment number 33.

    22/7/2010 - Today I was feeding some ducks on the Calder & Hebble navigation just outside Sowerby Bridge when one of them was pulled under the water from below "jaws" style. The other ducks scattered very quickly - An otter had the duck by the neck and sadly that was the end of the duck but I was amazed to see an otter hunting right in front of me in broad daylight on a canal near a town. It was a youngish otter, not full sized. I was delighted to see the otter but sad about the duck as it was an old friend who I fed frequently. I wonder if anyone else has seen any otters near this location.

  • Comment number 34.

    Yesterday 16th Nov 2010, 0830hrs, west bank of Friers Carse on the River Nith, I just left the Riding Stones fishing pool & was walking north when I saw an otter, easily 4' + (not a fishermans tale haha). Sadly no picture as when it spotted me it spooked & swam under some reeds & was gone. Also;- in just under a mile of the river I spotted 2 kingfishers, made my day.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ Pammi Re #33 - Sounds more like a Mink that you saw taking the Mallard Pammi. Mink are, (unfortunately), very widespread along the Calder and Ryburn valleys, despite intensive efforts to remove them. There are many sightings of Otters reported throughout Calderdale, but most turn out to be mink. Mink are voracious carnivores that punch well above their weight for their size and are probably responsible for the severely low numbers of Moorhen within Calderdale. Otters tend to concentrate on fish and crab and are unlikely (?) to take wildfowl.

  • Comment number 36.

    Me and my wife watced a otter for about 50mins the other day in the river wear at south hylton ,remarkably it did not seem to be bothered by our presence as it was only about 15 yards away and looked up at us on sevaral occasions as it went in and out the river to catch fish , this all took place at 6.00pm in broad day light what a first look at a wild otter !!!!!!


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