Alternative title: Because wet cats don’t look like otters.
“Can I snaffle some otters?” I ask M, excited by the idea.
“Snaffle some otters?” He looks at me puzzled.
“Well, yeah. You have to take two because they hold hands while they sleep so they don’t drift apart …” I’m beginning to ramble a bit.
“No you can’t snaffle any otters” He says, but I barely hear him.
“… I suppose I could just have one and have a little tub of water by the bed for it to sleep in and it could hold my hand while it sleeps!” I’m already searching for mini bath tubs on Google for said otter.
“Ruebi … You can’t have an otter …” He says slowly, my bottom lip is out in protest as he continues “but you could always put Millie in the bath. Wet cats look like otters”.
Anyone want to risk putting my mischievous Bengal kitty step-daughter in the bath to test that theory? No? Me neither! I value the skin on my arms too much.
So, what the heck is Martin Mere I hear you ask? Well, it is part of the Wildfowls and Wetlands Trust (WWT), a conservation charity focusing on the preservation of wetlands and endangered species.
We arrived just after feeding time for the otters (there were two slots, 11:30am and 2:30pm … We made the second one!) so watched them having a bit of swim before heading for some lunch. A girls gotta eat when there’s walking to be done!
With full, happy bellies we set off around the reserve …
Suddenly, out of nowhere … FLAMINGOS! (Ok so technically not out of nowhere as we had wandered over to the enclosure, but I wasn’t expecting so many of them).
Did you know that flamingos get their pink colour from the carotenoids in their diet (algae and brine shrimp)? Because I certainly didn’t! Thought that was quite fascinating.
There are various hides throughout the reserve so you can observe the wildlife without disturbing them, which was brilliant for capturing a glimpse of this Grey Crowned Crane:
Sadly Grey Crowned Cranes are an Endangered species. It was quite a humbling experience watching them pattering about in their enclosure.
There were so many other bird species to see … Far too many for me to remember the names of (I can’t remember the names of my colleagues half the time and there are far less of them).
You can even go for a bit of a canoe trip around the lake … Though I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to boats of any kind (as I’ve mentioned before) so I gave it a miss. This time. I have promised to return (with water wings in tow!) and paddle as though my life depended on it (while grinning my head off pretending I was born to do such things).
As we escaped from the call of the canoes we came across these mischievous little creatures:
Despite my choice of footwear we took a walk around the Wild Walk …
There was one more place we wanted to go before feeding time at the otter enclosure.
No … Not battling with dinosaurs. But venturing into the Harrier Hide!
It was soon time to wander back to the otter enclosure ready to watch them at feeding time … I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I absolutely love otters! They are beautiful, playful creatures (that in no way resemble a wet cat, d’ya here me M!) that I just want to take home and plunk in my bath tub.
The otters at Martin Mere are Asian Short-Clawed otters; they are the smallest of the species and they are ranked as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They live in a matriarchal structure which causes issues as the pups grow up when the daughters battle with the mother for status of alpha female. This has happened at Martin Mere with mother (Thai) being moved to a different residence. Father (Ned) still lives with his three daughters (Penny, Belle and Flick) but don’t ask me to tell them apart when it’s mealtime! Oh my word they were so hyperactive!
And because I know you lovely lot just can’t get enough of flamingos, here is a final photo for you:
How many of you now want to snaffle an otter? Or two? Or maybe a flamingo?
If you want to keep up with my travels away from the blog then you can do across at my Instagram page! Why not grab a cuppa, drop by and say hi!
PS – If you want to learn more about Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and their amazing conservation projects you can by nipping to their website for a nosy! Or, even better, go and see for yourselves (ticket prices are on the website) … I highly recommend the carrot cake when you stop for coffee and a snack! (Oh man, that carrot cake was the stuff of dreams!).