Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Otter on the Ebbw

A late posting from earlier this week and its a report of a short visit to the former Marine Colliery and adjacent River Ebbw near Cwm. The colliery site has long since been reclaimed and plateaued in readiness for new sunrise enterprises but with the characteristic obligatory nod and a wink to its past with the incorporation of the collieries pit head wheel as an on site design feature.

The River Ebbw was interesting. A metal bridge spanned the watercourse where features of its industrial past could still be found in a cluster. A gated level with wooden way marker as if part of some newly branded tourist attraction, an attractive weir with evidence of recent shoal removal and structures such as riverside walls and gabion baskets to ensure the watercourse remains straight jacketed along its original route. Some decoration was provided by a long since dumped car in an advanced state of decay with various pieces of river detritus trapped within interior. That said the oak and beech woodland with attractive understorey covered the steep hillside nearby was a delight.

A short walk down the river bank was just enough to whet the appetite for another more time consuming visit one another day. A female mallard with young drifted down stream, a ringed grey wagtail probably part of Dave Cooksey's study put in an intermittent appearance, a fly by dipper. Overhead swifts and house martins had arrived en block while willow warbler, chiffchaff and blackcap sang heartily. A redstart could also be heard but in the distance. However the most noticeable ecological feature was the amount of fresh otter spraint that was clearly visible on a number of the larger in-river stones. 

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