Re: Finding Lake Eyre

To: Reid <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: Finding Lake Eyre
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 11:06:10 +1000
Reid wrote:
> Hello all,
And of course, there is the ongoing problem of 'how do the waterbirds
> know that Lake Eyre has been filled'.
> Regards
> Reid

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that the birds follow the rivers
down as floods move out into the desert.

When floodwater reached Hattah NP, (Vic.) circa Jan. 1976, flowing down
Hindmarsh Ck, it was accompanied by very excited Dusky moorhens and
Blacktailed native hens, which were running along  and splahing through
the advancing water in great excitement, as the water washed seeds and
insects out of grass tussocks. This was reported firsthand by a witness
at a BOC meeting.  
Also, you have to remember that high-flying birds such as Pelicans and
Ibis can pick up the glint of water from great distances. Once they
start moving in purposeful flocks, other species may follow their lead.

The late Harry Frith (CSIRO) was of the opinion that Grey Teal could
detect changes in barometric pressure and were able to detect heavy rain
and thunderstorms at great distances. Certainly they are always the
first ducks to reach new temporary water.

Anthea Fleming
in chilly Melbourne
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