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Otter spraint on the Windrush

Gavin Hageman writes:

For around five years I have been keeping an eye out for otter spraint by the river Windrush near where I live in Witney, always hoping that they will be once again abundant in the area as they were a few decades ago, given that they are making a gradual comeback across the country along with the other rarer mustelids such as the pine Martin and polecat.

Last autumn I began regularly seeing otter spraint and recording exactly where and when I have seen it. Periodically I’ve set trail cameras in the hope of filming them but without success so far. This spraint was found in early June and you can see from it that the otter has been eating crayfish from the river, so it would appear that although signal crayfish do much damage to rivers and the wildlife in them, one positive at least is that they are perhaps supporting the return of the Otters by providing a good food source where fish are  often absent or sparse.

Gavin Hageman, 11 June 2022