Day two brought along the first set of challenges. After breakfast we all broke out into our groups. I was in group A, meaning I was off to the shoreline to collect otter poop. After several minutes searching for a fresh 'spraint', another word for otter poop, we returned to the lab to use a pre-cleaned specimen.
Once in the lab, we divided up into pairs to look through the otter spraints. We examined spraints from Eurasian otters, looking for small vertebrae remains to identify. The samples we used were from the Isle of Gigha, where we expected to find Butterfish, Saite, and Five Bearded Rockfish vertebrae.
What we found was actually rather surprising. We were able to identify several different species of fish, which are listed below. One researcher discovered clumps of rabbit fur, which made our instructor believe that otters are feeding on rabbits by the coastline.
After the otter practical we headed back to our dorms for lunch and to take a break while the other teams finished their practicals. I took a few minutes to appreciate the rather large spiders inhabiting my windowsill because I left it open the night before. Once the practicals were over, we all headed to the lecture room to learn about acoustics with Anna McGregor. Marine mammals all communicate differently, and those sounds can be extremely unique under the water. This lecture prepared us for the practical we would have two days from then.
Following the lectures we watched Invaders of the Deep before heading back to our dorms for the night.