Wandering as water

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Much to members delight, we are being thoroughly spoiled with more regular otter (Lutra lutra) sightings at Kings Dyke Nature Reserve.

Historically, otter tracks have been noted on the reserve extension pre-2011. But it was in November 2013 when the first otter sighting was noted from the main hide, towards the back of the lake.

Sporadic sightings steadily increased between 2019 and 2020, and regular family sightings have now become a highlight of many members visit’s since November 2021.

The new year has kicked off to a fantastic start with our favourite furry family of three, wowing members with impressive views and antics from the main hide.

Interesting otter facts!

  • Otters mainly hunt fish, though will sometimes eat waterbirds. They will also eat amphibians and crustaceans too.
  • At 8kg, otters are the second largest mustelid (carnivorous mammal, long-bodied, short-legged, thick furred and tends to be active at night) of seven species living wild in the UK.
  • A group of otters is known as a ‘romp’ or ‘lodge’.
  • Otters breed all year round. You are as likely to see them in the darkest depths of winter as in the height of summer.
  • Otter revival across Britain has been a great conservation success within the past 50 years. A ban on hunting and improvements to river water quality has aided species recovery and otters can now be found in every county in Britain.

Please take note of behaviours, weather conditions, numbers and other general details of your otter sightings and submit them in the hide log book, along with any other species records. We can then include this information on the Kings Dyke Nature Reserve database and also submit the data to the The UK Wild Otter Trust.