Paul Dibben shares his images of otters at work, rest and play on the River Stour in Blandford
Published in September ’16
Decades of close environmental control over what flows into our county’s rivers has led to an improvement of the lot of many of the animals who depend on clean, running water.
Often first to be affected by pollution and almost by definition last to feel the benefits of its absence are the apex predators; in the case of rivers and mammals, that means otters.
Paul Dibben has not always been a wildlife photographer, but when he first saw otters on the River Stour at Blandford, he had a close encounter of the unforgettable kind as an otter grabbed a fish and proceeded to eat it just a few feet from Paul. Fast-forward to March this year, and Paul had a winning shot and a runner-up position in the the Mammal Society’s 2016 Mammal Photographer of the Year competition.
Paul now gets down to the river to view the otters (whose range goes from the Bryanston bridge past the blue suspension bridge all the way to the ringroad bridge) when he gets the chance.
One of the side benefits to remaining still by the riverside is the number of other wildlife sightings, particularly kingfishers, but also egrets and heron, that one gets to see.