Otter Watch


This is a unique diary of otter sightings on South Walsham Broad from the spring of 2009 to the present time. It has been recorded by Mundy Ellis, who lives beside the broad. There have been 130 recorded sightings by 55 different people to date, 24 of them involving 2, 3 or even 4 otters together, and 28 of them recording otters actually on land. To begin at the beginning, scroll all the way down to the bottom...


Sunday 24 December 2017, Christmas Eve, mild with some sunshine at last The parish councillor who spotted the big dog otter at Pilson Green pond 10 days ago emailed that "Our otter is on the Pilson Green pond again this morning." He must have left some carp in there especially for Christmas.

Friday 22 December 2017, weather mild, grey and dull Further to last week's report by a South Walsham parish councillor of an otter at Pilson Green pond, my husband returned from the shops at around 11am with some news: "I was driving home along Broad Lane past the pond when, to my astonishment, I saw a large otter running across the road in front of me. It had come from the Wymers Lane side, ran swiftly but not in a panic (I was quite a way back) and disappeared into the ditch on the Marsh Road side of Broad Lane. I’d never seen an otter travelling on land before." Perhaps we need a sign: "Otters crossing"

Monday 18 December 2017 After a quiet weekend, the otter's commuting pattern is reasserted: at 8.20am it goes by just 15 feet from our frontage from right to left (NE to SW, towards the island). Then at 8.23am the Egyptian goose family follows. I resolve to get some good pics!

geese.jpgA note about the Egyptian geese The rather irresponsible pair had a brood of seven or eight goslings at entirely the wrong end of the year, probably due to a mild spell of autumn weather. (They are descended, after all, from decorative imports from African climes that escaped into the wild, left.) The gosling count is now down to three, despite being spoonfed by a platoon of conscripted local residents. They inhabit the staithe by day, where the goslings can waddle on to the land up the slipway, and by night they tend to go NE across our frontage to make landfall at another garden where the bank is low to the water. I do wonder if the otter I've been seeing recently was attracted over to this side of the Broad again by of the goslings - and not in a good way!