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Lutra Lutra at Leighton Moss by Derek Spooner

They appeared mid-morning, mid-mere
Broad daylight, bold as brass.
The limpid surface shattered,
Moorhens, teal and wigeon scattered.

First an adult, hump-backed water-weasel,
Wide-whiskered, plunging and diving,
Eating an eel.

Then came the cubs, mob-handed,
Heads, tails, bottoms up, sharp teeth,
Writhing, wrestling, rehearsing for life.

Otters!

On a post sat the liver bird, fellow-fisher,
Wings hung out to dry;
Above the reeds floated the harrier.

In the bird hide jaws and sandwiches dropped,
Shutters clicked, ‘scopes were scrambled.
Beardies and bitterns forgotten.

Then, line astern, Nessie like, they were gone.