Thursday, December 29, 2016

12/29 Otters at Ortona South

I will probably try to take some more photos tomorrow and add them to this post, so check back again tomorrow afternoon. 

There are some young otters living along the creek that empties out into the Caloosahatchee River here at Ortona South Recreation Area.  I posted a picture of the creek a few days ago, but I'll post them here as well so you can see the location.  Apparently a pair of otters had babies last year and these are the semi-grownup "kids."  I was told no one had seen the parents recently, so it was supposed that they emptied their nest by actually leaving it to the kids and moving to a new "nest"--just what a lot of parents want to do when the kids become teenagers!

Anyway, this little stream dumps water from the nearby farming area into the river.  Water level is controlled by a small dam upstream.  It's like of a neat place for animals because the Corps of Engineers has dumped a lot of big rocks along the banks of this creek and the main river, make a lot of good places to burrow and creating a series of small waterfalls.

This photo is looking upstream and was taken from a small sidewalk bridge. 

This photo is looking downstream from the same sidewalk bridge.  The wooden structure is a fishing pier.

The next photos show the otters.  It took a bit of waiting for three otters to show up, apparently after a fishing expedition.

What do you do when you are a soaking wet otter?  You roll around in the dirt until you are dry.

Notice how all this rolling around in the dirt has removed much of the dirt from around this poor palm tree.  Palm trees do not have many roots to begin with, so I am surprised this one has not fallen over.
And slightly to the right of the exact middle of this photo, you can see the entrance to the otter's burrow. After swimming and diving around for a while and then running around and rolling to get dry, all three popped back into their underground home!

It is very hard to get an otter to stay still for a photo, so I will try again tomorrow.  Here is a video of one.  I apologize for the shaky opening, but I am using a new camera, and I was having problems focusing on one otter:    Notice how all the rocks make perfect otter hiding places! 

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