Persistent heavy rain had been followed by fine drizzle and everything seemed to be taking advantage of the slight improvement in the weather. The buzzards were wheeling over the field below the woods, for once not bothered by crows, and house martins were swooping over the flooded soft rush after invisible insects, or dashing up the river in a manoeuvre that always reminds me of X-Wing fighters in a Star Wars bombing raid.
I caught an unmistakable whiff of fresh otter spraint as I walked back towards the broken sleeper bridge. I had a cursory look to see if I could find it, but the river bank was covered in nettles. She, I think it's a she, was seen late one evening, a couple of weeks ago, by a young lad who was grazing his ponies nearby, good to know she's still about. I've heard a lot of reports of otter sightings recently - one day it will be my turn.