I checked the virtual river level gauge on my phone; the indicator needle was in the red flood zone.

The cattle have access to North Pasture, Tenant Farmer’s Field, and the Rhombus Field. I guess the cattle will be in the Rombus Field: one of the lowest, wettest and boggiest fields on the marsh, and this is where I find them. River floodwater is pouring onto the marsh.

Cattle play by their own rules most of the time. The quickest route from the Rhombus Field to the safety of the higher North Pasture is along the riverbank, via the Tenant Farmer’s Field Corridor, with floodwaters rising around us. If the cattle sense abnormal urgency or panic when I call them, they are likely to spook and scatter in all directions, like a starburst. They might also just refuse to move.

On a normal carefree day, the cattle will follow me around the marsh whether I want them to or not. However, if I have an urgent need to move the herd to a particular place at a particular time, it will likely ignore my calls. If I try to force the cattle forward, they will run rings around me. Right now, I need them to behave and cooperate.

I videoed this afternoon’s chaos as best I could in the circumstances, so you will have to forgive excessive camera shakes, wobbles and unusual angles of view. My video skills are not good at the best of times.

The river level was 2.34 metres when I led the cattle to North Pasture, and it peaked at 2.43 metres.

(Click on the photo to see the video)


  1. That was some drama and superbly captured by you and your camera. The conditions are dreadful and you are very brave to be out there. I presume before you venture out you book in with Air/Sea Rescue. Good luck at all times.


  2. What a relief to get that gate closed with none of the herd making a u-turn! Nice job understanding their behavior; I particularly liked you hiding behind a bush to take advantage of their curiosity.

    It’s interesting that your herons would be squawking about the rising water, they may have more sense than the cows.


  3. Thanks, Ellen.

    I’m glad you found my video interesting.

    It’s the start of the herons’ breeding season. They are probably chatting with their neighbours.


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