On Monday morning I came up to Goodwick Bridge (Pembrokeshire, West Wales) from the beach and looked up-river, as usual, to see if there was a dipper under the bridge. Instead I saw a sleek body diving in the stream. I watched, then spoke to Derek to get his attention; the creature must have heard me as it turned its head and looked at me. The otter ran and paddled up the side of the stream and jumped into a drainage pipe. We stood and watched. The otter peeked out of the pipe several times. Eventually it jumped down from the pipe and ran up-stream, under the bridge and out of sight.
It was a thrilling sight, the first time I have seen an otter in Britain, and only the third time in my life. The previous times were in Doolin Bay on the west coast of Ireland. The otters run down the streams and across the limestone pavement into the sea.
My friend the biodiversity implementation officer told me that otters hunt in the sea but need to wash the salt off when they come back to land. He also told me I was very lucky to see the otter there – but I knew that already.