Theler’s River Otter

After I mentioned a few days ago that I hadn’t bothered to download the pictures I’d taken this month, Leslie asked me whether the pictures I’d taken of a River Otter we’d seen at Theler had turned out — reminding me that I had taken them. River Otters are a rare enough sighting that I’m usually eager to capture the best shots I can. However, the one we saw was so far away that I knew the shots wouldn’t be anything special even if the sighting itself made the day itself seem special.

I’ve seen River Otters several times at Theler over the years, and there are lots of signs of their presence. However, I wouldn’t have ever seen this particular otter if it hadn’t been for a photographer from Montana who had been taking shots of Great Blue Herons and noticed the River Otter run from ditch to ditch catching fish. It was so far out that I would never have sighted it without help from the photographer and Leslie, who was using the binoculars.

You’ll have to take my word that this heavily cropped shot is, indeed, a river otter.

If it had been anything other than a River Otter, I would have probably lost interest and missed some better shots but after spending nearly a half hour observing the otter run from spot to spot, he eventually came a lot closer.

He probably wasn’t more than a hundred yards away when I got this shot, the shot of the day, and the only one I’ll keep because it is the best shot I’ve ever taken of a River Otter on solid ground.

He came even closer, but only while swimming and I couldn’t focus on it when it emerged from the water before diving again.

What do you think?