River Otters

by Bethany Plonski January. 26, 2019 363 views

One thing I'm learning about wildlife photography is that using your ears can be just as important as using your eyes. This morning in the wetlands, I heard a weird crunching sound coming from the water, almost like someone smacking loudly on a mouthful of food. Sure enough, someone was crunching away!

A river otter.

I didn't even know we had them in Georgia! I almost died of happiness.

Not sure what in his mouth here, but he was enjoying it. Loudly!

Not sure what in his mouth here, but he was enjoying it. Loudly!

And yes, they are adorable, but they can also bite you. Glad I was able to observe these from a safe distance!

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Laurie Madsen 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Great captures! What a treat! (the pictures, but I guess he was enjoying a treat too).
Today the same thing happened to me, I was shooting mundane pics of reflections in the water and heard something move. It was a Canadian Goose. Strange thing is in MN the geese aren't around until spring! We just had -39 cold snap and today it was about 35 above. Either it's a CRAZY goose or spring is arriving early. I hope for the latter, but fear it's the former!
I learned today to expect the unexpected!

11 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Laurie Madsen 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you! And what a surprise about your goose! That is one of my favorite things about nature photography, how it gets you out in the world where you can be surprised by all kinds of wonderful things.smile

11 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Bethany Plonski 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I find myself surprised and in AWE! (and mostly caught off guard) LOL
Today we saw deer, pheasants, turkeys and eagles while out and about- but we went out for the frosty scenery. I am happy with the pics, it was amazing!
It melted before dusk, but now it is back again! I will be up bright and early to capture more wonders!

11 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Laurie Madsen 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds like it! Can't wait to see more! We rarely get snow here, and when we do, it usually turns to a slushy, muddy mess before long. Snowy scenes have a special beauty in photos. Really enjoying yours!

11 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Bill Baird 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Great find and great job capturing him for us !

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Bill Baird 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Bill! Really glad I had something to share after this sighting. It was one of those things I could hardly believe myself!

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bill Baird Replied to Bethany Plonski 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I had a similar experience when at a small lake/large pond that overflows into an inlet to a reservoir near my house. I had seen nothing and all of a sudden there was a very loud noise like a bomb had dropped into the edge of the pond about 30 feet from where I was standing. I still saw nothing but hung around for awhile and sure enough a beaver came to the surface. It had seen me and sounded the alarm with it's tail. A sound I will never forget.

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Bill Baird 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh my goodness, wow! It feels like such a blessing to witness something like that (after you get over being startled, I'm sure!). When I first saw the otter, I actually wondered if it was a beaver, because I could only see it from the front at that point and I had just passed a dam a little ways back.

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Love this post, and see these amazing creatures in the wild. Well done

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you! I never imagined I'd see one in the wild, especially right in my backyard. Still so happy! smile

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Andi Saw 11 months, 3 weeks ago

AN OTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRR
OMG... I need to moe the the US! 
An OTTER... can you believe it??? 
Great job my dear.
Quick question: it's swimming to you... how this scene ends?

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Andi Saw 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hehe smile I was was so excited about seeing them I'm lucky I got any pictures at all! And it ended so quickly! Right after I got that photo, he disappeared under the water, his friend followed, and I didn't see them again. I waited about 10 minutes, but I never figured out where they went.

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Great sighting, Bethany ! And the biting ... Yes, they can bite you, like a dog can bite you, but they have no inclination to do that. In December we saw a few muskrats in Bonn (Germany). They are 'known' to go for your throat, but we could approach them up to a meter (like the other photographers). When we came closer they just withdrawed a few meter ...smile

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Björn Roose 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Bjorn! Yep, it sounds like most of the times they bite, they are sick or feel seriously threatened. I usually try to err on the side of caution and keep my distance with any animal I haven't seen before, at least until I have a sense of whether they are bothered by my presence. Did you get pictures of the muskrats?

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Bethany Plonski 11 months, 3 weeks ago

I did get pictures of them, but they are still waiting to be "developed" smile That's gonna happen somewhere this year. I hope. smile

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Wonderful images! What a beautiful creature! Love the lighting, framing and razor-sharp details & clarity! Bravo! What a catch!!!

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Jay Boggess 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Jay! I was trying so hard not to shriek with joy. grinning Luckily I had just taken some pictures a few steps earlier, so I didn't have to mess much with my settings.

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Sherry Hill 11 months, 3 weeks ago

w o w!!
i've never seen an otter.. what a moment.. 
just beautiful Bethany.. 
green heart

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Sherry Hill 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Sherry! I am still giddy a day later. blue heart The only place I have ever seen them before is at an aquarium. Such a wonderful surprise, and something I will never forget!

11 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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