Mull In December with Otters

December 19, 2015  •  2 Comments

It's Wednesday morning and it's just got light enough for photography. During this time of year you only get a small window of light as its the Winter solstice in a couple of days. You may be wondering why I'm writing this now then? Well it's  raining outside, that fine drizzle, more like I'm engulfed in a cloud as visibility is down to 100m.

Yesterday though was a special day! Same dull weather but it was dry and the wind was blowing south-easterly so made the loch fairly calm. What is more the tide was on its way out. I drove and partly walked up the loch and found a pair of otters hunting about 50m of the coast. Watching through the binoculars I could tell it was fish they were catching and eating whilst in the water. If it was a crab or some shell fish they normally come ashore to feed on it. Eventually they did come ashore but by the time I had got fairly close without them seeing me they had eaten and went back in the water! Still I managed some distant shots. I followed this pair for about half an hour hoping to get close but they weren't staying long enough ashore. Then I lost them, just disappeared!

So the search began again. I knew I had only about two hours of decent light. 

After about an hours I suddenly spotted 3 otters together just off shore about 10m two of them came a shore on the sea weed and started to scent mark and just play around. 

otterotter I stayed low and carefully clambered over the slippery rocks and seaweed. Fired off some shots and moved in closer. They were diving in the sea and then coming a shore like a little game they were playing. All the while I was getting closer.

OttersOtters

I just love watching them play. To think these are wild animals and they were giving me a show as they cuddled and kissed each other. 

ottersotters OtterOtter Sleepy HeadsSleepy Heads OttersOtters OtterOtter

Mull in the Winter is incredible! Gone are all the tourists and the wildness of the place has an impact on you! The challenges of photographing wildlife are intensified as you are battling with getting good light in a short window of about 4 hours in December! 

OttersOtters Still it makes for a different feel to your images.

Hope you like them!

OtterOtter Cold, wet & wildCold, wet & wild


Comments

Tim Phillips(non-registered)
Great blog and very inspiring Mark. I am off to mull in a week and would be happy to get a few shots half as good as these. Did you know in advance the best place to visit or was it just luck that you found them. Any tips you can offer would be appreciated.
mairi(non-registered)
Totally in awe of your photos and your talent with a camera. By time i find my glasses and get the camera out the moment has passed lol but i shall keep on trying.
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