A few hours of weak spring sun brings out adders on the sea wall at Oxwich. This is a favoured place to find them in the summer months, when I can usually guarantee to find several basking on the sandier patches on top of the wall. There are never many, and when disturbed, quickly move into the cover of the grass.
The sea wall, built at the end of the 18th century, has survived well, and is still more or less watertight. Originally built to keep out the sea, and provide grazing land, it now encloses a large reed bed, which is fast turning into woodland. Some of the original enclosed ponds remained until recently, providing nesting sites for black-headed gulls, but these are mostly silted up, and apart from a few reed and sedge warblers, the marsh is now of little natural history interest.
By the sluice gate at the eastern end of the marsh, mature blackthorn provides a perfect nesting site for a pair of long-tailed tits busily adding feathers to the inside of their delicate nest. What a marvel of nature this little nest is.
Marsh tits have become very scarce in recent years, and I hear one singing in Abraham’s Wood not far from the lower footpath. I wonder if this will be the only one I find this year. The mixed wood has matured a great deal over the last few decades and although some thinning has taken place, looks in need of attention, but still remains a favourite walk for locals and visitors alike.