Sunday, 21 May 2017

Buckenham Marshes: a great morning, marred by a thoughtless dog-walker...

Linda and I grabbed a quick couple of hours at Buckenham before lunch today: almost the first bird we saw was a Hobby, which was quickly joined by five more and a Buzzard! I have never personally seen six Hobbies together in the Yare Valley (though doubtless others have!) A red Kite drifted over the river to Claxton, where two Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk were already hunting.

Two drake Garganey brightened up the large pool on the right of the path, while Reed and Sedge Warblers were everywhere! Avocets were defending their nests, with greater success than the Lapwings, which lost chicks to the 1cy Great Black-backed Gull, a Heron and a Little Egret while we watched.

Lots of insects: Variable and Azure Damselflies and a Banded Demoiselle were nice: but here's one for James: what's this beautiful Bee-fly (?)

As we walked along towards the hide, a van drove far too quickly to the anglers' carpark: once parked, the driver opened the back doors to release five large dogs, with which she strode away towards the mill. Now and then one or another would rush into a dyke, scattering the wildfowl. As Linda and I sat by the wind pump, three of the dogs came rushing at us through the long grass and nettles, snarling and barking: the woman didn't apologise or even acknowledge that her dogs were causing us alarm. Now the woman was perfectly entitled to be on the path with her five dogs, but by the level crossing is a large sign informing people that the area is a Nature Reserve and asking them to keep dogs on a lead. This woman obviously walks dogs for a living, and you'd've thought she could have found somewhere else to do so where she wasn't frightening young calves and disturbing breeding birds. I met the Marshman by the gate: he was pretty hacked off, having seen the dogs swimming in dykes and running loose off the paths! Now although the footpath is a public right of way, the dykes and marshes certainly are not!



James Emerson said...

Your bee-mimic is a hoverfly, Leucozona lucorum.


David said...

Thanks James: I knew you'd know!

Steve Smith said...

The dog walker is a regular at Buckenham, I've seen her with up to 8 dogs off the lead and running wild. She's a pain in the arse, since I've been seeing her around the amount of dog sh*t has greatly increased.