Sunrise: 05.26 Sunset: 09.27
8 days, over the past 8 months, have been spent clearing willow and birch scrub along the east bank of the North Pond chain.
Today I asked volunteers to remove a dense area of 2 to 3 metre high birch and willow saplings, and a good deal of bramble, from a track-way we are opening up. It didn’t take long to break through the scrub and rediscovered the most southerly of the North Pond chain, that has been hidden for a year or more. Heavy rainstorms have increased the flow, so the water was fresh and not at all smelly. Dragon and damsel flies flitted, zoomed, and zigzagged over the surface. It was a pleasant enough place to eat lunch, in spite of the clouds of bloodsucking gnats and mosquitoes.
50 metres down from the living otter holt, Mike Averill found a well-used above ground scrub tunnel leading to and from the water’s edge. A couple of indistinct clawed paw prints and digging indicated badgers to me, so I wasn’t overly interested beyond thinking I might place a camera trap at the entrance to confirm my theory.
I thought about the tunnel again this evening: a badger would have to spend a lot of time in the tunnel to create such heavy wear to the floor. Is the otter track I saw leading from the pond area to the river last week anything to do with this scrub tunnel?
Further investigation might throw light on what is happening here. Could the tunnel be a daytime lie-up for an otter bitch and her pups?