Well, it rained. And it rained. And then it rained some more. And on December 22 2012, The South Hams was so wet that there was nowhere for the water to go but up and over. Everywhere was affected by the flooding and high ground water. And the Gara was too, rising over the bridge and on both sides of it. We’ve never known it this high.
It was a tough day for everyone however the silver lining came in the late afternoon, watching a male otter on the lawn at Watermill Cottages – he was eating a fish that he’d caught in the turbulence you can see behind – and I filmed him.
We’d had otter sightings all year and this confirmed that the family of otters living on the Gara Valley and Slapton Ley are very comfy around Watermill Cottages. This one knew we were all there and kept watching us. Clearly the exceptional weather and river conditions mean that the otter had to eat what it could find when it found it.
It is rare to see otters in the daytime.
You’ll see in the film clip that the river is high, brown and fast – today, January 14 2013 – it doesn’t even reach the top of my wellies, and is clear, shallow and gentle again.