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I was down on the marsh this morning, otter watching. The River Stour is low, flat calm, and fairly clear. Six otters swam in circles, underwater. I think there is a holt in the riverbank, because the otters were disappearing under the bank vegetation and not coming up for air. Now and again one would surface, but there was no indication of when or where, and their time on the surface was… Read More

It’s another day on the marsh, and I’m about to cross the small concrete bridge over Hoo Book, from Hoo Brook Pasture, on my way to the new nature area along the River Stour, immediately north of Wilden Marsh. If the resident troll tries any of his nonsense this morning, barring my way and threatening to eat me, my size 12 wellie will help him on his way downstream whether he wants to… Read More

Sunrise: 07.39 Sunset: 05.09 Mike Averill, the Dragonfly Recorder for Worcestershire, and I logged up another 10 hours between us on this living otter holt build. Mike’s help has been invaluable; the quality of his workmanship is excellent, and the  hours he has worked on this project equals mine. A total of 38 man hours have been expended, and we are still not finished. The holt is fully functional, but we have… Read More

10th March 2012: … I found frog spawn in various standing waters around the marsh this morning, but toad spawn only in North Pond. Some of the toad spawn is overlaid with frog spawn. There isn’t much spawn about at the moment, it’s the very beginning of the frog and toad breeding season, but the amount will increase daily over the next week. Most of the river bank vegetation having now died… Read More

19th February 2012:  Having established that at least one otter is active along the marsh section of the River Stour, and because of its protected status, it is sensible to minimise disturbance close to the river during marsh workdays. I think, though, we would need to be cutting trees down along the river bank, or at the edge of the wood bordering the corridor to the tenant farmer’s field, or interfering with… Read More

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