Dennis Forsyth writes:
In the fall each year salmon swim up several streams and creeks on Denman including Beadnell Creek in Fillongley Park. This event is usually followed by a small bonanza for many fish-eating creatures when many salmon die after spawning and show up on the banks of these waterways.
This fall, on the 26th of November, this group of six River Otters were enjoying the feast along the lower reaches and estuary of Beadnell Creek. The west bank of the creek was fairly littered with salmon carcasses and this engaging group was diligently cleaning up. Otters are very intelligent animals and I think they know perfectly well that a two-legged critter, unaccompanied by a dog, is no real threat as long as there is a stretch of cold water acting as protection. In any case they were certainly unworried by my presence and simply worked their way down stream a short distance in front of me.
After about 45 minutes of this steady downstream movement, interrupted by the occasional stop for a snack, they came to a spot where some tangled driftwood overlying some relatively dry grass offered a convenient resting spot. One otter turned back, swam to within a few yards of me, gave me a long slow look, then swam back and climbed out. Within a few minutes all six had settled down for a restful, mid-afternoon nap. I quietly packed up my camera gear and left them to it.
photos by Dennis Forsyth