Protection of Kellys Swamp

To: "'canberra birds'" <>
Subject: Protection of Kellys Swamp
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 09:36:44 +1000
This is a subject as recurrent as the movement of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.

If a true refuge is contemplated, there is first a question of its area.  The 
potential area extends from the railway station and the causeway settlement to 
Morshead Drive, and from the lake to Monaro Highway  -  all prime real estate.

As to screening and hides, I foresee extreme differences of opinion as to how 
wide a berth to give the actual birds.  The mildly interested observer is 
unlikely to carry a telescope. My own view is that a high observation point on 
the western side would be useful, even if it required a 'scope.

Prohibiting access to near the water's edge might satisfy some, but severe 
regulation can be frustrating.  How many recall Rusk's Lookout, the vantage 
point within the well-known willow where, with a little fieldcraft, close views 
could be obtained of the Pectoral Sandpiper and Little Stint, feeding 
unconcernedly a few metres away?   On the other hand, cyclists or walkers 
exposing themselves (I intend the inoffensive usage) at 5 times that distance 
can flush every waterbird at that end of the pond.

Incidentally on another divisive issue, I incline to the pro-cow school, 
although it is unfortunate that their presence entails that nasty fence.

-----Original Message-----
From: Susanne Gardiner 
Sent: Friday, 19 September 2008 8:36 AM
To: canberra birds
Subject: Protection of Kellys Swamp

Hi all

Last Tuesday I found a proper arrow (a la Bow and Arrow) which I took with me 
as I thought a weapon like this (the tip is indeed very sharp) should not be 
lying around where children roam. It was were a lot of the bunny holes are near 
the Bittern hide and only an armlength off the path.

I made me wonder, who is shooting arrows and if that person was hunting rabbits 
and/or birds?

I've been to several excursions to Birrigai/Jerrabombera with my children.
They usually eat at the log circle near the buildings.

Birrigai take them down to the grassy area in front of "Bittern" to play a game 
about what Birds eat what and to have a better view of the habitat.

So maybe this is a point to take up with Birrigai, not the Teachers, who are 
only followers in this exercise, but do keep children from straying from the 
path, picking or breaking plants, keeping quiet as to not scare the birds etc.
The Game's materials and learning stations along the path are taken there by 
truck driven along the walking path.

The Groups often do a water skimming exercise, getting invertebrae out of a 
small section of water behind the buildings, across the paddocks. Some of the 
invertebrae are taken up to the lab for examination under microscopes before 
being returned to the waterway.

It may be debatable as to the impact on the whole wetlands. But I also feel, 
that this is an important hands on learning exercise for the kids as a lot of 
them walk away from there a lot more impressed and caring for the environment 
they have just experienced.

Whether I missed the blackwing stilts due to the Preschoolers who passed 
"Cygnus" half an hour before I got there.... who knows?

Cheers, Susanne

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