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Posted on Jan 26, 2014 in Blog, Otters | 2 comments

Chasing otters in the rain

Chasing otters in the rain

One of two otters we watched along the Río Piloña.  Yesterday was another gloomy Saturday.  The river was high and the water murky with a strong, fast current.  Add to the mix constant rain – and not ideal conditions for a walk.  But we went out anyway. As luck would have it, after just 20 minutes, we spotted two otters – both were swimming impressively fast along the Río Piloña.  Once again, they proved to be capable of swimming faster than we can run!  During the chase to get ahead of them, we got soaked trying to jump lake-sized puddles and scrambling down a muddy riverbank.  Be did a great job with the umbrella, protecting me and the camera from the rain, whilst scanning the river with her binoculars. In the end, 28 of the 29 shots we took were either blurry, partial shots of an otter’s tail or empty river water.  One shot was perfect.   The image above was taken at f5.6, 1/400, ISO1600 at 280mm with a...

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Posted on Jan 13, 2014 in Blog, Otters | 2 comments

Solitary Otter

Solitary Otter

December and January have usually been good months for seeing otters.  This winter has been somewhat frustrating!  Clues to their presence are very frequent in the form of tracks and spraint but there were no glimpses towards the end of the year. However, our luck changed early this morning, as we watched a lone otter for 30 minutes – our first of 2014.  The nearby ducks seemed nervous, but the otter’s attention was firmly fixed upon fishing trout and eels, and it successfully caught both.  The image above was taken just moments before it disappeared. We recently looked back through the records to analyse our otter sightings.  We are now fast approaching 100 separate encounters – excluding sightings in other parts of Asturias and Spain. Another otter taken during the winter (December 2012).  And hard to imagine getting another similar opportunity.  All Rights Reserved – © John Shackleton – Wild Asturias Share...

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Posted on Dec 30, 2013 in Blog, Wildlife | 3 comments

Encounters with wolves – Mountains of Riaño

Encounters with wolves – Mountains of Riaño

  ‘Sleeping Amongst Wolves’ is a new e-Book by Andoni Canela. Earlier in the year we made a review of Andoni Canela’s iPad App – ‘AQUILA – The Spanish Imperial Eagle’.  He has since expanded this series to include the Spanish Brown Bear – ‘Urus’ with many photos taken in Asturias. Now, as part of his around the world trip, photographing some of the most emblematic wildlife from 7 continents, he has released a new e-Book ‘Sleeping Amongst Wolves – In search of the Iberian Wolf’ (Durmiendo con lobos – En busca del lobo ibérico).  Video trailer above. Description from iTunes Discover the Iberian Wolf in this spectacular 164-page multi-touch e-Book. More than 140 previously un-published photographs, with videos and audio recordings created by Andoni Canela.  Foreword by wolf specialist Juan Carlos Blanco. Nature photographer Andoni Canela publishes a new book about the Iberian wolf in the mountains of northern Spain. The stunning images, accompanied by audio and video, allow us to see at close quarters, the Iberian wolf living...

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Posted on Nov 29, 2013 in Blog, Otters | 2 comments

Young otter rock climbing

Young otter rock climbing

After a dry summer and autumn, we have experienced a period of rain.  The river has been at its highest for at least 6 months.  In the past few weeks otter sightings have been zero. This week, we resumed our walks along the Río Piloña with the water level now returning to normal.  The herons have comeback, with 3 or 4 individuals maintaining their motionless posts along the riverbank.  The kingfishers and dippers are also busy – and easier to observe with the leaves from the riverside trees having made way for winter. There have been no clues to the otters whereabouts.  We often wonder if they will they ever appear again.  But we shouldn’t have worried.  We were soon watching a family of 4 otters through our binoculars and camera.  And we saw  them at close quarters with spectacular views.  The three cubs seemed relaxed, straying quite far from the mother (though she often called to them).  Two youngsters in particular were frantically playing – too busy to...

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Posted on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog, Places | 0 comments

Autumn River Flow

Autumn River Flow

We recently took a late autumn walk between La Pesanca and la Foz de Moñacos in Piloña.  The colder temperatures provided the peaks around Vizcares with a sprinkling of snow.  Winter is coming.  I wanted to get some close water shots of the Río Infierno (Hell River) with a real autumn feel of Asturias.  This area is very damp, heavily forested and covered in deep green moss and lichens.  The autumn leaves add a magical element. One image I was happy with, after spending some time searching for a suitable areas.  There are many potential opportunities along the route, and only restricted by the need to negotiate some fairly steep drops and slippery rocks – if you want to get to the river’s edge.  f16, ISO 100,  1/6 sec at 14mm, some editing in Lightroom 5. We set camera up at 4 or 5 points along the river. Nikon D7000, Tokina 12-24, Manfrotto 322RC2. Belinda trying to dislodge an annoying branch, that literally floated into the shot as we...

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