It was mid evening when we came off the Ferry from Yell at Toft terminal. Being late we parked up for dinner and took the opportunity to watch for Otters. We had watched Otters on many occasions before, mainly on Mull, and only the night before Doris had come to within a few feet of an Otter on Yell.
We had been watching two Otters playing and catching shellfish, but left when the Otters swam off. We walked away from the site in different directions, I had gone to the right Doris to the left, but as she rounded a corner one of the Otters we had been watching emerged onto the pier and met Doris face to face at only a few feet distance. Unfortunately the Otter took exception to my appearance and slipped back into the water, but not before giving Doris the once over.
As we ate and watched through the window all appeared quiet and we had no idea as to what may unfold. I had just started to clear the table when I spotted an Otter off in the distance. I watched its progress for a short time as it worked away from us but remained close to the shore. As its progress was slow but steady I picked up the camera and wandered out with the intent of heading it off at the pass.
Moving along the shore I could still see the Otter in the distance so moved further back from the shore so as not to be seen. I continued for about a half mile until well ahead of the Otter while looking for a suitable spot to hunker down and await its arrival.
Eventually I found a likely spot, an old fence strewn with weed and debris cutting down to the shore. This was the spot so I moved down close to the shore and huddled down to await the Otter. After about 10 minutes, hope waning a little, I became distracted not that there was much to see. My attention drawn to a piece of old rope blowing on the other side of the fence, but still I kept half vigil. By this point the camera was down on the rocks by my side and any appearance by the Otter seemed unlikely.
Then from, I know not where, the Otter appeared, not coming out of the water on to the shore, but crossing under the fence right at my feet. Yes I do mean at my feet, any closer and it would have walked over my legs. Progressing just to my right the Otter suddenly paused, turned and looked right at me as if to ask “Where the hell did you come from”, my thoughts exacly. Well camera at my side, Otter at my feet yet no chance of a picure, far too close, so I resist the temptation to reach for the camera and instead wait for the scene to unfold.
This turned out to be a good move for as the Otter came to his senses, Oscar as I now called him, feeling we were now intimate enough to be on first name terms, regained composure and moved away to perch behind a rock, better to view this strange creature he had just discovered on the shore. Once behind the rock Oscar popped his head up and down playing peekaboo before growing sufficiently confident to re-emerge.
By this point I had camera back in hand having taken the opportunity as Oscar headed behind the rock and click …. the deed was done.