The otter is a carnivore and is an opportunistic feeder, its prey includes- eels, salmonids and crayfish. In spring, otters often eat a lot of frogs. Otters can be difficult to see, but you can tell if they are using an area as they mark their territory by leaving ‘highly scent ’spraints or droppings (marking their territory) and by their five toed foot prints. Otters spend most of their time on land on land but are seldom far from water. They can be found along the whole of the river even in the saltwater of the estuary. If an otter has been swimming in salt water they will have then find some freshwater to rinse off and clean their fur..
The mink is a carnivore that is closely related to the otter but it is an invasive species that was introduced to Ireland in the 1950’s as accidental escapees from fur farms. Minks can sometimes be confused with otters, but they are a much smaller animal. Mink can be found along the whole of the Maigue. Mink are a big threat to ground-nesting..
Grey seals and common seals can often be seen in the estuary of the R. Maigues and sometimes further..
If you are by the river at dusk you may see a bat flying very close to the waters surface; this is most likely Daubenton’s Bat. The bat uses its large feet to catch insects like midges and sedge (caddis) flies. It flies with it tail membrane very close to the surface of the water to disturb the insects then it crabs them with its feet. This behaviour is known as..
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- Newsletter 3, 2019-2020 July 15, 2020