Sunday, March 11, 2012

Signs of the times

The signs I am referring to are those closing a reserve or walking trail when there appears to be little reason for doing so. I wonder about the following causative factors:
  1. Under-resourced parks seemingly unable to repair trails in a timely manner.
  2. An increasingly litigious society - one that seems to value the potential for financial gains through compensation greater than accepting a degree of personal responsibility for risk of injury.  This is not helped by "No win, no fee" legal services.
  3. Management practices that put 1 & 2 together to conclude that it is just easier to close the park down even when the risk is trivial.
A favourite haunt of mine has been the Stoneyford Nature Trail at Silvan Reservoir Park which is run by Parks Victoria. On a recent return visit I found discarded signage indicating that the trail was closed due to the failure of two pedestrian bridges. The "failed" bridges are pictured below. The Parks Victoria Silvan Reservoir Park page continues to indicate that the track is closed indefinitely.

Having driven some distance for the visit I brashly decided to explore. I was accepting of the apparently significant risk of great personal injury! As you can see below the conditions were pretty treacherous!

On this occasion I'm glad I did continue. I thoroughly enjoyed some good birding.

I understand that management has a duty of care to the public and that the situation may not be safe for a mob of 30 raucous buffoons bouncing on one of the bridges. I just feel that there has been an unjustified increase in the number and duration of closed parks and trails.

Crested shrike-tit (Falcunculus frontatus)
Only my second sighting of this bird and
first photograph. Usually seen 20 metres up!

White-throated tree-creeper (Cormobates leucophaea)
unforgiving midday light
Eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis)
enjoying a dust bath in the January heat

Enjoyed several different views of
Fan-tailed cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis)

Kookaburra feeding young in tree-hollow
and then off to continue the shopping!

Bird - yet to be identified! Any suggestions?
 The discarded signage at the start of the Stoneyford Nature trail:

"Failed bridges" #1 and #2.

I cannot fathom how anyone could come to grief on either of these structures. We are not talking a canyon here. You would have to crawl along the creek bed to get under! There's no trolls surprising any billy-goats gruff on these babies!


  1. interesting series; I especially love the crested-shrike-tit; a wonderful find!

  2. Interesting subject and let me tell you.... I agree!
    In Europe too, access to natural preserves is being increasingly limited...
    I wonder what the agenda REALLY is.... Keeping people from getting back to Nature??!!!
    The governing elites have done a pretty good job at separating us from mother Earth so far....
    Food for thought!!
    Nice and varied pictures!