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Otter At Our River! (Video)

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Dry River Pool

We are lucky to have the Odelouca River cut its way through part of our land, you notice I didn’t use the term run through our land. Usually, sometime in June the river runs dry and remains dry until the heavy Autumn rains kick-start it flowing at the end of October, beginning of November. We are up-stream of the Barragem do Odelouca which provides drinking water for the Algarve.

It’s the end of October and so far there hasn’t been any significant rain to make any difference. All around the river banks both on and near our land have well established tracks that wildlife use to access the river and for a while I have been wanting to set up my Bushnell trail camera to see what frequents the river.

At various meanders and bends on the river, pools form and stay deep enough all year for the aquatic life to seek refuge of the dry river bed. Of course, these pools not only provide drinking water for other wildlife, but food.

One of the tracks leading to the river passes under a wire fence and I took a look at some hair that had been caught. To be honest, I had no idea, but took a guess at Otters.

Bushnell NatureView Cam HD 2015 with LiveView

So, a couple of days ago, I set up the camera facing the edge of one of the pools. Here are some stills from the footage with the video footage at the bottom;

Hawfinch

First up at just after 10:00am was a Hawfinch. Although not a rare bird in Portugal, it is not often seen this far south in the Algarve. It would be a winter visitor from Northern Europe or Russia, so great start to the footage. Now imagine my surprise when I first saw this next footage;

What is this? Otter?????

This was at 3:26am and it was so close to the camera that all I saw was the top of it’s back. It wasn’t until I saw the next footage that I realised. This was captured just 4 minutes later;

Otter entering the pool

The one criticism I have of the Bushnell camera is that sometimes it can a bit slow between motion detection and recording, so as you’ll see if you watch the video below, it misses quite a large part where the Otter would have been out of the water. So anyway, confirmation that there are Otter at the river even though it’s dry. So as you can imagine, pretty happy already, but then this at just before 7am;

Wildcat

If you watch the video below, you’ll see it far more clearly, however, you can imagine me sitting at my computer in excitement trying to work what this ear belongs. Cat, must be a Cat! It’s not a Fox as the ear isn’t furry enough. Then I though Genet, but no, the ear seems too narrow at the end for a Genet, so yes, it’s a Cat. Then I realised, that’s one big kitty. I wish I could say Lynx, but very unlikely. It would be a very young Lynx and even then, the tuft doesn’t seem long enough at the end. So, my only conclusion is this is a European Wildcat. I’m pretty sure I spotted one not too far from this location a few months back, so this is what I’m going with.

Then we have daylight again and a pair of Little Egrets come fishing for breakfast at around 8:30am;

Little Egret

If you watch the video, you’ll notice the Little Egret kicking it’s feet in the water. I imagine this is to make the fish come out of hiding under the stones. Finally, just before I arrived to collect the card a small flock of Song Thrush turned up for a drink. This is a strange sighting, as I’ve never heard a Song Thrush singing, I’ll keep an ear out.

Thrushes

A very busy 24 hours. I have left the camera in the same place for today, but will be moving it to the other side to try to get a better view. I will be posting regular updates on what comes to the pool.

Now, the video footage;

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}



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