Drought Effects

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Drought Effects
From: "Reg Clark" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2003 22:41:33 +1100
Hello All,
The drought is beginning to bite hard in my vicinity which is abt.16kms NNW
of Sydney's CBD in suburban St Ives . The first indication was the increase
in the number of Whiteheaded Pigeons coming to my seed tray and bird bath,
from three or four pigeons to fifteen, this has now dropped to zero. I am
starting to see birds which I would normally encounter only in the adjacent
reserve. These birds seem to have abandoned the now rather pathetic-looking
bush for the nearby gardens (a rather dubious choice in many cases). This
morning I was surprised to see two separate
families of Variegated Fairywrens, three Eastern Spinebills, a small group
of perhaps seven or eight Brown Thornbills a Grey Shrikethrush, several
Redbrowed Finches and two Brown Gerygones. These were seen at various times
during the morning and were in addition to the regulars such as Currawongs,
Kookaburra, a juvenile Grey Butcherbird,pair of Red Wattlebirds one Brush
Wattlebird, a few Rainbow Lorikeets and Noisy Miners and late this afternoon
two splendid Sulphurcrested Cockatoos.The garden is an average-sized
suburban block planted with a mixture of native and exotic vegetation which
is quite thick in spots ( mainly due to my natural ability to
procrastinate), and has three or four tallish trees -Scribbly Gums. There
are a couple of small lily ponds and I am hoping that the combination of
cover and water may be of some help in the current situation. The only birds
that I have noted nesting successfully during this continuing dry have been
Australian Ravens with two young and the Redbrowed Finches with about a
dozen extremely dun juveniles as yet showing no hint of the lovely vivid and
subtle colour to come.But the most telling indicator of the crisis facing
the wild things was the appearance of a Wallaby in the bush nearby. We
didn't know there were any around here ! ! .


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