Thursday, 12 January 2017


A generation ago the suggestion that otters might be seen on Gower was fanciful.  During the latter half of the 20th century, pollution in rivers caused a major decline throughout the UK, and they became extinct on Gower for a long time.  The earliest record of one here is in 1843, when a large male was caught up in fishing nets off Oxwich Point.

Rivers have now been cleaned up and they’ve returned, but going out looking for them is usually a fruitless exercise.  They’re mostly nocturnal and finding one during the day would be really lucky.  Ever optimistic, I always keep an eye out at Oxwich Marsh and on lonely beaches, but I’ve never been lucky. From the slits in the hide overlooking the South Pond at Oxwich, I peer at the far bank hoping that one of the many ducks moving about by the edge of the reeds will be an otter.  They’ve been seen here in winter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they breed in the marsh.  As usual, I draw a blank, but I’m sure that with enough time and effort I could see my first Gower otter from this hide.

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