Protective birds launch attack
A Blenheim woman stumbled into a Hitchcock nightmare yesterday when two "shrieking, dive-bombing" birds attacked her during an early morning stroll through the Wither Hills Farm Park.
Liz Davidson said the pair of spur-winged plovers were probably protecting a nearby nest, close to the Taylor Pass Rd entrance to the park.
The plovers hit Mrs Davidson, who has warned fellow walkers to be on the look-out for the angry birds.
A former Marlborough District councillor and mayor, she is worried about the safety of young children using the busy walking tracks.
The plovers were making a racket when Mrs Davidson first walked past at 6am, she said. It wasn't until she returned an hour later that the birds swooped.
"They shriek and squawk and dive-bomb," she said. "Their wings actually brushed against my body. I was quite fortunate I was wearing a hat but imagine it had been children walking past. An umbrella would have been brilliant."
The plovers were as bold as magpies and the size of seagulls, Mrs Davidson said.
"They are quite pretty birds - you hear them down by the river as well - but could definitely do damage."
She reported the birds to Marlborough District Council yesterday.
Council reserves and amenities officer Robin Dunn said plovers were very protective and aggressive to anyone getting close to their nest.
The council had relocated a plover nest away from public areas in the farm park last year and he suspected it was the same birds causing trouble this year.
His staff would move the nest again to alleviate any further safety issues, he said.
- The Marlborough Express