Flora & Fauna in January

Although relatively common, otters are some of Scotland's more elusive inhabitants. Active and breeding throughout the year, a female otter with cubs is often more visible than males, who are usually bigger and more solitary.

Growing otter cubs stay with their mother for over a year practising hunting skills and you might be lucky enough to hear them calling with a clear, shrill whistle. They may be seen in the evening and the early morning but are more active at night.

They're not the only water-lovers around at this time of year either: seals and porpoises can be found around Scottish coasts through the winter (and year round), offering a playful spectacle for anyone with the patience and eagle-eyes to find and observe them.