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.


Went to the river this morning to check if the Brook Lamprey had started spawning. There was no sign of Lamprey but i did pick out some fresh otter tracks and quite a few spraints, looks like Mr Otter has been busy.....

A pile of sand with a spraint (poo) in the middle. The spraint does smell of hay meadow, i know because i smelled it. You can also see where the otter scratched the sand.

Here you can see the otter print, you can just make out its five toes.

Another spraint point on a rock. Otters like to poo on rocks because this is how they mark their territory, Pooing on a rock makes sure the smelly poo doesn't get washed away by the river.

Another fresh spraint point, you can see the otter has scrapped the sand into a pile then pooed on top.

Another spraint, experts look through the spraint and can identify what the otter has been eating by the types of bone found in the poo.

Then i had a surprise, I found a pool with a plant called Starwort in it and guess what, Starwort is on the list. Off the list -

Callitriche stagnalis - Common Water Star Wort

No comments:

Post a Comment