I made my way to the River Weaver and walked up to the Weaver Bend and the I.C.I tank.
As soon as I reached the river the 1st summer Little Gull was over the water before circling overhead and then back down again. I continued my walk along the Weaver Causeway that stretches out to the Weaver Bend. A pair of Great Crested Grebe were busy doing their head shaking ritual display, while another pair were more advanced with some fully grown grebelettes.
There were many Pied Avocet young along the drier parts of the bank and a few pairs were still on clutches. A scattered flock of c60 Tufted Duck were about and a couple females had tuflings in tow. The Common Shelduck pairs were very nervous with the pair of Lesser Black-backed Gull present and ready to strike. The Little Ringed Plover was joined by a Little Egret further up by the sluices.
I clambered up the bank of the I.C.I tank and what was once an active sludge tank was nowreplaced by Willow Shrub and tall grasses. All along the River Weaver were hundreds of Small Tortoiseshell with much smaller numbers of Meadow Brown and Red Admiral. A walk through the tall grass produced numerous fresh Ringlet butterflies and one imparticular allowed me to get really close with my mobile phone camera.
Walking back I met Paul and a very confiding jevenile European Stonechat. I bade my farewell and headed over to No.6 tank and a flock of 43 Tufted Duck, 4 drake Common Pochard, 43 Eurasian Teal, 7 Northern Shoveler and 45 Mallard. A couple of Dunlin and 8 Common Ringed Plover with 50 Northern Lapwing.
Observer: WSM (images 1-6).
A Western Marsh Harrier hunting over No.1 tank as I parked my car it then flew over the river and over towards the I.C.I plant. Later a Common Buzzard crossed the river carrying a prey item.
A pair of Eurasian Oystercatcher were showing aggression to the Pied Avocet and chasing them away from the bank.
A walk along the River Weaver and the lonesome Pink-footed Goose made its way along the bank and a flock of c60 Pied Avocet were feeding in the channel.
Observer: Paul Ralston (images 7-10).