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  1. Left home fairly early to see who was lurking about in the woods and riverside since yesterday. I had hoped to see a fox or even an otter as the light was only just creeping in. I was going to go the short cut through the woods but decided it would be better to go the long way as the path cuts round a couple of islands and it is all bushy so you are not silhouetted like I would have been going the short route. Fortunately the river had not come over the banktop here as it tends to in the winter but it was only 6" from washing over the path. I hadn`t even got my camera out when I saw movement in the corner of my eye, I stopped and slowly turned my head and saw the sinuous shape of an otter sliding towards the bank I was on! Result! The bank is 5 feet high or more at this point so it went out of sight and normally if they have spotted you they sink under and swim off downstream so I froze apart from my head which was swivelling up and down stream, just in case, and my hands which were getting the camera ready. It popped up upstream close in to the bank so I knew it had not seen me and I managed 2 shots of it one blurry the other you can just see it arching its back as it went under the water and under the branch in front of it. Apologies for the shaky camera work; First shot is the original photo the second a cropped picture from the original, otherwise it would be hard to see. If I had taken it a split second later you would have seen its tail, such is life. I walked on hoping to see it emerge again near the main part of the river, but I never did. I think it must have swum across, and I must have missed it, as the mallard that were on the water flew off in 3 flights one after the other, but the wigeon who were on the bank and the goosander were not phased at all. I had only walked 50m onto the main river bank properly when again I spotted movement in the corner of my eye, a big white rump patch of a roe. I was fully visible to them but they are conditioned to seeing people and their dogs, in fact there was one idiots dog chasing them the previous day while he just whistled and called its name! Oddly enough they were right next to where I buried one of my dogs. After that I turned my attention to looking for some nice pieces of driftwood as there can be some nice pieces that get left behind when the river drops, however there was only one piece today. However I must remember to keep myself upright as the beavers have been busy again and you would not want to slip and fall on this... More rain forecast through the week so I might have another wander down the river on Thursday and see what is what.
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