CCOP New Year Update!
Motivated by the sunshine (or at least absence of rain) we have been out onto the coast to check out a couple of sites. First one was west of Trebarwith on the North Coast where a very promising, and secluded, valley drops into the sea. Despite a good check on all the likely spots, especially where streams meet and around the bridges we couldn’t find anything – I’m sure persistence will pay off with this site (C356) in the future – it is just too good and access is OK once you have staggered up the cliff. Second trip was just over the Devon border to Welcombe Mouth where we searched the very rocky shoreline and then tracked up the stream until we found a suspiciously green rock on the North side – sure enough, two nice big spraints were there – a couple of days old. Only down side was a bootful on the way across the stream – everything has its price!
Spraint site at Welcombe – note the nice lush green grass and the dark stained area on the top of the rock.
Location in context – high spot next to good fishing pool – ideal!
Spraints in situ – size of half a cigarette and pale with lots of bone/scale fragments, probably a couple of days old (bearing in mind the recent cool dry weather) and quite dry and crumbly.
Rupert Kirkwood has been in touch to let me know that he has taken some video of otters on the Torridge – lovely stuff and you can see this on his blog at https://thelonekayaker.wordpress.com/
Currently, we have collected about 45 spraint samples – although mostly from the Bude area (thanks Teagen) and Fowey (Thanks Ian). I’m hoping we might get to 100 by Easter.
Our spraint analysis workshop for those of us that want to go into serious detail of identifying otter lunches to species level will be held at Exeter on the weekend of 30/31 March – details to follow. There will also be an opportunity to brush up on things ottery on 12th July at Heligan for those of you in the St Austell-ish area.