One of the problems most people have is where to begin to look for otters. It is no easy task when you consider the amount of water available for them to swim in.
A good rule of thumb is to look in freshwater lochs where there is a stream running to the sea. This is usually a favourite otter place as it gives them easy access to the two environments that they love.
When scanning the sea use your eyes first of all to try and get familiar with the water you are looking at and try and spot any unusual dark shapes in it. The use the binoculars to identify. By getting used to spotting small objects in the sea or loch you begin to home in on the shapes of nature.
Look along the edges of the shoreline and seaweed. If an otter is feeding there is often a black backed gull close by waiting for the leftovers.
This may sound daft but recently I spotted a black backed gull sitting low on the shore and watching something.I could see no otter but on closer inspection there was an otter eating a lumpsucker fish on the edge of the shore. As I walked to the spot where the otter had been I found the remains of the meal which the gull was waiting for. See below.
Finally be patient and chose a high vantage point to scan the water from and keep an eye out for the otters . Once your eye is in you will be amazed how familiar they become.