birding on private property

Subject: birding on private property
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 09:15:50 +1000
Trevor Quested mentioned five species of finch "on" a certain property in
the Capertee Valley.  Trevor is a long time Capertee Valley visitor and no
doubt received permission to enter this property, if in fact he did - the
finches are often along the road in this part of the valley, but this is an
opportune time to flag the perennial problem of trespassing while birding.

Over the years I have been associated with the Capertee Valley, landholders
have mentioned to me, on numerous occasions, problems associated with
birdwatchers wandering over their properties without permission.  Visitors
to the valley have probably seen the signs erected near the Glen Davis
Museum by the NSW FOC and Cumberland BOC - the result of problems with
trespassers.  I must say that this problem appears to have diminished since
the Capertee Regent Honeyeater Group started to work in the valley.  This
could be because birding opportunities have increased in the valley with
legitimate opportunities now existing for birders to enter some properties
or that landholders have come to accept, and trust, birders more.

I have had free access to all, bare one, of the properties in the valley
that I have had a desire to get onto in the coarse of my Regent Honeyeater
studies.  However, a number of the property owners have made a point of
saying that they didn't want "hordes" (their wording not mine) of people
wandering over their properties.  I'm sure most birders would be unprepared
to compromise the trust and understanding that four and a half years of
hard work by a group working for the good of birds in the Capertee Valley.

We have seen the problems caused at Lake Bathurst with the withdrawal of
permission to access this once popular birding site because people
misunderstood the arrangements for access.

I think the routine should be, if entering land where access rights are
uncertain either ask or do not enter.

David Geering

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