Mallacoota - the good, the bad and the ugly

To: "'BIRDING-AUS'" <>
Subject: Mallacoota - the good, the bad and the ugly
From: "Alastair Smith" <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 19:11:33 +1100
The good. Just back from a fabulous four nights at Mallacoota in Victoria's
East Gippsland.  I found my target species, Striated Fieldwren, on the first
day at a site near the airport, previously  reported by Tim Dolby. I was
also fortunate enough to see breeding Little Terns (I estimated the number
of adults at 200+) and one Hooded Plover. It is a really lovely, largely
unspoilt part of the south coast. I recommend it to all birders (as it was
recommended to  me).


Now the bad and ugly. It was gratifying to see the Little Terns, enclosed
within a roped  off area which all beach walkers appeared to respect. It was
most ungratifying to see the number of unleashed dogs on all Mallacoota
beaches, despite signs prohibiting dogs on beaches between November and
April. I mentioned the breeding shore birds to a couple of dogs owners on my
first expedition to the beach, only to be greeted with the equivalent of 'so
what?' in one case and hostility in the second. I don't know who patrols
these sites but the Parks Victoria office only reopened today after the long
weekend (?) and I did not see a council ranger or anyone else patrolling the
breeding sites. If we are keen on allowing these birds to breed unmolested
by dogs and people, I am surprised with the lack of enforcement. It appears
to me that as dog owners cannot read signs, the only thing they would
understand would be a total ban, backed up by sizeable fines.





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