Hi, I'm Rudi, i'm 8 years old and my favourite book is 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson. Its about the life of an otter named Tarka and British Wildlife. One night i was reading the book with my dad and i said that i wanted to see all the animals in the book, he said i should do it and call it the Tarka Challenge. My Tarka Challenge started on 1st January 2012. The book contains 89 birds, 54 land based animals, 120 plants and 56 aquatic organisms.

The rules are simple, i must either see each thing myself or photograph it using my trail camera. I will try and see each thing on my local patch (Ogmore River Catchment) but may need to look somewhere else in Britain.


Otter - Lutra Lutra

Otters are the star of the book and i never really thought i would see a wild one in real life. These otters live in a salt water sea loch in Scotland. Their fur is not really designed for salt water so they have to swim into fresh water sometimes to clean it. The otters live in a 'holt' which is usually a hole under a tree. Their favourite food are Eels. They mark their territories with spraint (poo) which smells and shows other otters who the territory belongs to.

We walked around the loch and found some spraint. We set the camera up tied to a tree and this is what we filmed. If you watch closely you can see the otter flicking snot onto the camera which was still there in the morning.

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