Three swans a-swimming … on the path!

Blog post by Chris Durdin on 17 Dec, 2019
“Streets full of water. Please advise.” It’s a famous telegram about Venice’s canals, certainly tongue-in-cheek, and though the wording and origin is disputed, the spirit of the quip came to mind as I walked around NWT Thorpe Marshes.

The path through the marshes was under water after recent high tides. Three mute swans were surprised to see me as I waded along the path while I took the usual circuit around the reserve. It was that way round – the swans being surprised, not me. When the reserve is covered with water the swans seem to choose the under water paths over the ditches and water-filled marshes. There was a half-hearted hiss as I went past the trio, as if to say, “This is our kind of place today, what are you doing here?”
Mute swans on the path, by Chis Durdin

Mute swans on the path, by Chis Durdin



NWT Thorpe Marshes gets inundated by the tidal River Yare at some point in most winters. It’s usually when there’s a combination of high river flows after rain and high tides. It may be inconvenient for a few days for visitors and dog walkers, but it underlines that this wetland nature reserve creates space for water instead of flooding the surrounding built environment.

The Yare here retains some elements of a naturally functioning river system,with an associated flood plain. On these occasions, the marshes act as a temporary water storage area, a kind of safety valve that contributes to protecting people and property elsewhere.

Anyone reading this ahead of the next guided walk at Thorpe Marshes on 15 January may be wondering if the walk will be affected. If paths across the marshes are under water, then the walk will simply stick to the higher riverside footpath that leads to the viewpoint over St Andrews Broad. But if the weather has been wet, do wear wellies!
 
Chris Durdin leads monthly wildlife walks at NWT Thorpe Marshes. Details of monthly walks and recent sightings at the nature reserve can be found here.
Header image by Chris Durdin
Share this

Latest Blog Posts

Rewilding Norfolk: Wild thinking and wild ideas (Part 3) Rewilding Norfolk: Wild thi...
by David North on 07 Dec, 2019
Rewilding Norfolk: Wild thinking and wild ideas (Part 2) Rewilding Norfolk: Wild thi...
by David North on 30 Nov, 2019
A wet day in November A wet day in November
by Chris Durdin on 29 Nov, 2019
Rewilding Norfolk: Wild thinking and wild ideas Rewilding Norfolk: Wild thi...
by David North on 23 Nov, 2019
A season of engagement at NWT A season of engagement at NWT
by Georgie Lake on 12 Nov, 2019
25 years of support 25 years of support
by Ellen Kinsley  on 09 Nov, 2019
What tangled webs we weave What tangled webs we weave
by Robert Morgan on 31 Oct, 2019
October at NWT Thorpe Marshes October at NWT Thorpe Marshes
by Chris Durdin on 29 Oct, 2019
Being an intern at Norfolk Wildlife Trust Being an intern at Norfolk ...
by Emily Mildren on 08 Oct, 2019
A changing climate of opinion A changing climate of opinion
by David North on 10 Sep, 2019
Notes from Thorpe Marshes Notes from Thorpe Marshes
by Chris Durdin on 24 Aug, 2019
Cranes on the up Cranes on the up
by Chris Durdin on 16 Aug, 2019
Letting your lawn bloom for wildlife Letting your lawn bloom for...
by Helen Baczkowska on 09 Jul, 2019
Litter picking Litter picking
by Maya Riches (guest author, age 10) on 18 Jun, 2019
What lies beneath the placid lake What lies beneath the placi...
by Mark Webster on 11 Jun, 2019
A stark and urgent call to action A stark and urgent call to ...
by David North on 13 May, 2019
Spring gardening: Helping hedgehogs Spring gardening: Helping h...
by Helen Baczkowska on 07 May, 2019
What A Waste What A Waste
by Maya Riches (guest author, age 10) on 01 May, 2019
Wacton Common Wacton Common
by Helen Baczkowska on 30 Apr, 2019
Leaving the nest Leaving the nest
by Mark Webster on 16 Apr, 2019
On the verge On the verge
by David North on 14 Apr, 2019
Making connections: why we need to come together to solve conservation problems Making connections: why we ...
by David North on 29 Mar, 2019
More flapwort than nettles More flapwort than nettles
by Jenny Jones (guest author) on 28 Feb, 2019
The Hickling Broad Nature Reserve The Hickling Broad Nature R...
by Barry Madden on 26 Feb, 2019