I'd suggested a while ago that I take John W. to visit Frampton Court's lake where we could walk his dog. We finally managed it this morning when there was a gap in the continuing bouts of rain. We walked around the lake chatting all the while, and I received the benefit of John's expertise about natural history and in return I gave some background to the geography and social history of the various sites we visited. 

We went on to Splatt Bridge, one of the remote swing bridges over the Gloucester to Sharpness canal where we looked out over the widening Severn estuary. Then I drove us on through Saul to Epney where we stood on the banks of the tidal River Severn and retreated from the rain into the Anchor pub for a swift drink.

While at Court lake I took snaps of birds as we talked. At one point I watched a dominant male swan marauding a succession of other swans, of which there were probably at least thirty dotted about the water. Finally the male swan took off and flew at a female, chasing it until it caught it and then sat on its back and mounted it while the female gradually got pushed under water as it tried to escape. I'm assuming it was a mating event and that biting the neck was part of the domination. It all looked rather frightening. The female swan eventually escaped and sped off away into calmer waters.

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