This message might interest any birders who visit or plan to visit the
Capertee Valley, NSW. For others, please either hit the delete key or
endure a little parochialism.
The Glen Davis Community Association is lobbying Lithgow Council, State and
Federal governments to try and get the whole of the Capertee - Glen Davis
road sealed. At the moment less than half of this road is sealed and the
work has fallen well behind the promised rate of one kilometre per year.
Among other things, the local residents argue that the ever-increasing
number of visitors, including birdwatchers, deserve a better and safer road.
As many of you are aware, birding in the Capertee Valley is largely done
along the roadside, at least for the majority of birders who don't have
access to private property. One of the "joys" of birding in the valley is
regularly being showered with dust when vehicles roar past. While dust is
part and parcel of being in the bush, the Capertee Valley is becoming
well-known enough and the road busy enough to warrant some improvements. In
March 2004 the Glen Davis Community Association produced a report as a
result of feedback gathered from local residents on this issue (and other
issues). Birdwatchers are mentioned a number of times in this report, for
example in this excerpt from page 1:
"The present condition of the unsealed section of the Glen Davis Road and
the portion of unsealed road to Glen Alice School is posing an
unnecessarily high risk to the life and property of those who use it -
motorists, their passengers and tourists, in particular bird watchers. It
is not a quiet country road. It is the main access road to Glen Davis and
the heart of the Capertee Valley. It is 16.8km of sealed road with an open
speed limit (100kph), abruptly changing to a poorly maintained hazardous
dirt access road with the same speed limit, which at a moment's notice
could present you with an enthused photographer/bird watcher in your line
Some locals have put forward suggestions on how to provide better
facilities for the increasing numbers of birdwatchers. I have suggested to
the Association that an information sign when entering the valley and
parking bays at a few key sites might assist birders and help with safety.
What are others' thoughts?
Unfortunately some birders have found there is still a small amount of
anti-birdwatcher sentiment in the valley but this is inevitable anywhere.
In my experience the majority of locals are welcoming and proud to have
their beautiful valley enjoyed by visitors and many can also see the
economic benefit of this. Let's try and keep improving this relationship.
After all, this will ultimately benefit the birds. (I know it's been said a
number of times before but one thing we can do to encourage goodwill is to
be aware of other traffic using the road, avoid stopping the car suddenly
in the middle of the road - and leaving it there, parking in dangerous
spots and leaving doors wide open, etc.)
Any birders who would like to comment on the road condition or send a
letter in support of sealing the road are invited to write to the Glen
Davis Community Association Inc, Lot 2 Coorain Street, Glen Davis NSW 2846.
Blue Mountains & Capertee Valley, NSW
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