The James Williams Survey.
Congratulations and thank you to all who took part in this year’s two day Survey. Also for the more speedy returns to Jo to enable the lengthy task she has undertaken scoring and mapping the results this year.
The weather enabled a proper survey after the terrible washed out results of last year, although in contrast the water levels were extremely low this year.
106 people took part in the event, this year Exmoor National Park also covered the Devon side of the Park.
In Somerset 138 patches were surveyed, a total of 510 sites.
372 sites were positive, 73%. We have averaged 70% for the last 8 years.
Second day hits (fresh overnight) is 27% of these positive sites.
10 patches were blank with no otter signs. The average is 9.
An estimated 66 Otter ranges were located. Our recent average for the last four years is 67. Indicating a stable population.
A possible 10 bitches with cubs were located. The reward of an actual otter sighting went to Shaun Caddy this year.
In the Devon side of Exmoor National Park 10 patches were surveyed, 50 sites, 32 of which were positive, 64%. An estimate of 4 ranges located. The estimated ranges for the whole of the park are 19.
This is an initial scoring of the 2 day survey, all the evidence obtained during the two day event will take time to evaluate further. The initial evidence is that the population and percentages of active sites are comparable with previous years.
As usual the by catch of other species has been typed up for sending to serc and others. Grey heron 7, little egret 2, grey wagtail 4, yellow wagtail 1, cuckoo 4, bittern 2, dipper 16, kingfisher 20, mink 14, water vole 4.
Don’t forget to send your results for day one to SERC.
The date for the 2 Day event next year will be 23rd and 24th April 2016.