Sunday 12 August 2012: Looking Otterly Daft: A Crown of Weeds
There was me thinking the Figgate Park Otter had moved out.
Cycling day, though the planned trip to Oban was postponed, so instead of heading on a 2.5-3 hour drive west we decided to head to the Borders, which meant in the morning I could let the chooks out and work on one of the bikes. 10 minutes or so later and one started whinging, "Oh what are you making a noise about Skye?" I ask, adding, "I'll bet it's nothing as usual." Looking up.... There's a fox three feet behind her.
All safely back into the run after a momentary heart attack, bikes loaded on the car, Duns bound (where they don't like you parking too long), and I played at being Mr Merckx. 16 and a bit miles is a nice wee re-introduction to cycling for Mel, and along the way were a myriad of Yellowhammers, and as we stopped at a bridge over the Blackadder a Kingfisher obligingly flew under.
Home and time to kill, I head to the Figgy, but with nothing much about make for the coast instead. Returning from views of young Turnstones and screeching Terns, I decided on another Figgy diversion. Standing on the boardwalk I'm thinking the light is great, but not much about, so I'll probably not take the camera out. I look down. And four metres away is an otter head. Staring at me. I stare back, thinking if I go for the camera he'll disappear. He continues staring. I take my bag off, he stares, I open the zip, he stares, I grab the camera, he stares. I pull the camera out.... Damn.
The next half hour is spent watching bubbles on the surface every now and then (with him hassling Moorhens) and I'm about to give up when something stirs from under the boardwalk almost directly below me. I see bubbles moving away, and an on whim focus on the bubbles, following their path. And then the head pops up. Snap snap snap. One useable shot. But chuffed. So so chuffed. Given Kingfishers and Otters are two of my favourite beasts, and cycling one of my favourite things to do, it's been a pretty good day.
And apparently the 'East Edinburgh Neighbourhood Team' (or some such similar, I have their details on Twitter) have been looking for a pic of the Figgy Otter after it was first rumoured, which will be put on display in a couple of places in Porty - I think I'm the first to snap it.