30 March 2006

Back in Manly

Walk in Manly today, perpetually on beta, building sites from one end to the other. Off to North Head, 'Lady Fair-f-axe' walk. The entire path was butchered with a chainsaw. The coastal heath cut at the ground to 'improve' the view. Raw open stumps left to 'frame' the sandstone cliff. Generous amounts of garbage deposited all around for the wildlife.
In town (Pittwater Rd.) the paperbarks have been squared and chopped in a straight line, not higher than 2.5 m, all side branches removed for aesthetic appeal of course. In some other place (market) the paperbarks are peeled to the core and are left to languish.The tree butchery committed recently contradicts all policies.

From Manly Point to Shelley Beach a very small penguin (Eudyptula minor) swam along the shores, tiny flippers paddling, but then shooting like a rocket under water to hunt small fish. 4 Crested Terns and a Little Pied Cormorant watched as well. As the world's smallest penguin chased swarms of fish out of the water at Shelley a woman (photos available) confidently walked her bulldog up and down the beach illegally. Had the little endangered bird walked out on the beach, it would have been minced. Back on the walkway her 'little darling' was put back on the leash. Seconds later a Manly constable appeared, but the official was so busy servicing tourists that nothing could be done to protect the last penguins or enforce the law on dogs.

On the back-garden front, the good news is that our nightly "tok, tok" has finally revealed itself as the Striped Marshfrog. A small pond has been improvised and now let's wait for the froth.

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