We were hiking by a remote lochan near Gairloch in Wester Ross, when I heard a chirping sound. I thought it was just a bird on the nearby lochan. I heard the noise again and saw something swimming, I automatically thought it was a bird. Then it dived under the surface revealing it's body and I realised it was in fact an animal's head I had seen.
I waited for it to resurface and I wasn't disappointed. Swimming towards me was an otter, soon followed by another! I remembered seeing otters on wildlife presenter Simon King's recent Shetland programme and the noise the cub was making to its parents was the same.
We were standing on the track and the otters were only a few feet from us in clear view. They dived and surfaced, and swam some more, before disappearing from view. I did see a fish jump into the air further up the loch so wondered if that's where they had gone. We stayed for a few minutes, but didn't see them again. Unfortunately, we still had a way to go on our walk so couldn't hang around, but it was wonderful to experience otters at last.
Credit goes to my other half for the first three photos - he's got a bigger zoom on his camera than I have!
Two heads swimming along
... and gone