Ecologist Kate Haymes reflects on a day’s surveying last week.
On days like today I can’t see how my job could get any better. We conducted an otter survey of over 3km of river bank from a canoe, which proved to be a brilliant way to survey for otter field signs. The usual method would be to battle our way through the bankside vegetation and hope our waders don’t spring a leak if we have to enter the water! This method was much more effective and coincidentally, much more relaxing, especially due to the sunny conditions. Paddling upstream and floating downstream we noted lots of otter footprints, spraints and slides into the water. We also recorded otter couches (uncovered resting places) and a holt (covered resting place) comprising a system of bankside tree roots. If the abundance of textbook otter signs wasn’t enough, we also had close encounters with three pairs of kingfishers, zooming past the canoe, their iridescent plumage shining in the spring sunshine. All in all, not a bad day at the office.
Thanks to Duncan Kendrick for providing safety cover and many helpful paddling tips.
Kate (Ecologist, York Office)
At FPCR we are always striving to find the most effective and efficient methods of surveying for protected species. For a full view of what ecology services FPCR provides, take a look at our website https://www.fpcr.co.uk/services/ecology/
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