This was my closest and most magical encounter yet with an otter. These two are mother and cub. They came into the pool three times in the space of half an hour on a dark and foggy morning.
This is the mother. She has a more streamlined shape and her fur is perfectly smooth when wet.
At one point the cub seemed to lose contact with its mother and was swimming around whistling for her. It swam right up to the bank below the hide, obviously aware of the sound of the cameras. I love the way you can see the reflection of its whiskers in the water.
Eventually mum reappeared and they headed off happily.
The reaction of the birds was interesting. The bittern was spooked by the otters and flew away but the heron was quite excited and kept flying around to stay ahead of them, hoping, I suppose, that they would drive the fish towards it. Whether the otters can claim any credit for this I'm not sure but the heron did catch its breakfast.