off topic request/spillways

To: Canberra Birds <>, Kumiko Callaway <>, Jen Finlayson <>, Marg Peachey <>
Subject: off topic request/spillways
From: Denise Kay <>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2017 23:42:04 +0000
Good morning folks

I hope no one minds this request .

Does anyone know of spillway /overflow trap designs that do/will not impact on our native water birds ?

At the moment our volunteers are called out on a regular basis to the Yerrabi Pond ( Point Hut & Fadden ) spillway/overflow trap to rescue ‘ trapped ‘ birds . Species range from swans , coots ,swamphens, dusky moorhens ,domestic ducks, ducklings and also turtles.

It can be a  risky challenge for our volunteers to rescue some of these birds especially swans from a deep trap like Yerrabi.

The exit for the spillway at Yerrabi is on the South side under the dam wall/Mirrabei Drive but the birds will not exit through the tunnel preferring to try to fly out from the direction they came. I have seen Coots fly out but I have also seen them hit the wall not able to gain the height.

Our friends the engineers at Roads ACT are seeking examples of bird friendly spillways to try and rectify our problem but I am finding almost no examples .

We have produced and presented a report of the problems to Roads ACT with arial shots of the 3 spillways of concerned .It is available if required.

 Some of the suggestions mentioned in our report -

1.     Put a ramp in at an angle the birds are comfortable with so they can get out themselves.

     2.     Fence off the top of the spillway so that birds don’t fall in there in the first place.

     3.     Install a grate that can be lowered to cover the entrance to the culvert, so that birds are trapped in the top area and are significantly easier to catch.

    4.     Install 4 eyebolts, two at the bottom corners of the culvert and two higher up on the sides of the tunnel, so that a screen can be easily attached to stop birds escaping, when a rescue is in process. 

5. I was thinking of a swinging gate type of structure mounted on top of the spillway with a wire top ( like the kangaroo proof fence ) that prevents birds from flying over but also releasing debris with pressure against the gate . 

But we don’t want to re-invent the wheel if there is a simple affordable solution available.

Does anyone have any thoughts or examples we can suggest to ACT Roads ?

Much appreciated with thanks

Denise Kay
p. 0467506167

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