Until a few years ago, otters and badgers were the only members of Ireland’s admittedly not that extensive land mammal fauna which I had not seen (let’s not get into bats for a bit). Now, while I have yet to see a non-roadkill badger, I have had the pleasure of repeatedly seeing otters on various locations along the River Suir.
My usual spot is a little past the riverside carpark by the Moangarrif roundabout (walking downriver). Here was my first otter sighting, of a group of five or six one evening. Since then I have felt that most sightings of “lake monsters” must surely be due to otters, with their serpentine, elegant motions in the water and some surprising configurations of a group.
Since I have fairly regularly seen otters there, and also at Kilsheelan and in Carrick-on-Suir (at the old bridge). The closest up was a lunchtime otter at Cahir Castle car park, which sauntered out of the water and into undergrowth a few metres away.
A while back, along with a little helper, I essayed an explanation of how otters could have been mistaken for the Loch Ness Monster:
I actually haven’t seen this Clonmel-based otter: