I took Penny's car to Byfleet for an MOT test this morning, and cycled back home via a newly-discovered (by me anyway) gravel pit. It provides something of a wildlife haven, and it was great to hear the sound of Lapwings and Skylarks in the area.
As I arrived, several little birds were flying from one lake to the other. It was only when I examined the photograph afterwards that I realised they were Little Ringed Plovers.
In this view, you can see a Shelduck, Shovellers, Canada Goose, Lapwings, and Black-Headed Gulls.
The Lapwings were doing their usual aerobatics, wheeling, diving and calling.
Across the lake, a fox trotted by.
And further on, near the railway crossing, I heard the unmistakeable sound of Blackcaps.
At the River Wey footbridge, I optimistically hoped for a Kingfisher. I was rewarded instead with a pair of Grey Wagtails.
A sad note to end on. The sight of a Swan struggling to swim up the River Wey near Weybridge, dragging a long fishing line fouled with debris. The line can be seen coming out of his beak then cutting into his neck.
I tried to attract the swan over to at least cut the line but he was (understandably) not interested. I contacted the RSPCA when I got home, but by then it was probably too late to find the Swan again.
When a wild animal is killed or injured by another animal, it's sad but it's the way of nature. However this swan is suffering because of someone's lazy and irresponsible behaviour in leaving broken or discarded equipment where it can cause harm.
I believe most of the fishing rights around here are owned by the gravel-extraction company Cemex and administered on their behalf by the Weybridge Angling Club. However there is no evidence that the offending tackle was discarded by a member of this club, and I'm sure they would be as horrified as anyone else at this unnecessary suffering.