24 Jan 2010
I was in Donegal at the parents and thought I would stop off at Inch Lake near Burt to see if I could see the Smew that had been seen on the previous day on my way back to Co.Down. I walked a ways down the causeway and was beginning to scan the lake when I saw an otter about three hundred yards away. I ran back to the car to get my camera and long lens. As I was running back along the causeway to where I had last seen it I saw two otters further ahead and then a third one and they were coming closer to the shore. By the time I got there I could see one in the water and I tried to photograph it but the autofocus didnt seem to work. Grrrr. I then noticed the lens was fogged up as I had left the camera and lens in the car over night. So I frantically cleaned it by which time the otters had disappeared.
As I was trying to peer over the edge of the causeway I heard this noise behind me and watched as an otter crossed the causeway soon followed by another and another.
They then made their way into the lake on the seaward side and were feeding along the edge amongst the seaweed.
Up until a few years ago I used to be lucky to see maybe a couple of sightings a year. They definately seem to be increasing their population as this would be my eighth sighting this year. They have to be one of the best mammals in Ireland.
PS I didnt see any Smew