After briefly capturing video footage of an Otter a few nights ago (see here) I went on a scout of the dry riverbed to try to locate a Holt. Holt is the name for an Otter’s Den.
To my surprise, I found one fairly easily and even more surprising that it’s been almost under my nose all this time. Obviously, I’m not going to share its location, but I will set up the Bushnell in a more permanent location to confirm that there is Otter using this Holt. Otters are mainly nocturnal, however, as this location is very quiet, they may be active during daylight too. I will monitor their activity for a while and hope to establish a pattern of activity, if there is regular activity during daylight hours then I’ll plan to hide with the camera. The location is pretty good for photography.
A big giveaway is the presence of Otter Scat, known as spraints, on the dry riverbed. If you look closely at the photos, you can see small bones and shells which look like remains of Crayfish.
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.