Hot birding down the Lachlan

To: Stephen Ambrose <>
Subject: Hot birding down the Lachlan
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 03:16:49 +0000
If I’d known I’d have invited you along!


On 17 Jan 2017, at 11:11 am, Stephen Ambrose <> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I can beat that - the ground temperature out in the sun when I was observing
> small passerines during extremely hot conditions at Hamelin Station, Shark
> Bay in Western Australia (5th January 1983) was 63 deg C;
> Reference:
> Ambrose, S.J. (1984).  The response of small birds to extreme heat. Emu 84:
> 242-243.
> Regards,
> Stephen
> Stephen Ambrose
> Ryde NSW
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
> Denise Goodfellow
> Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:05 AM
> To: Chris Charles
> Cc: birding-aus; Chris Lloyd
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Hot birding down the Lachlan
> Chris, thank you for a fascinating trip report.
> On extreme temperatures and spouses: While surveying Gouldian Finches near
> Victoria River, NT, in the early 1990s I spent hours lying on the bare
> ground near eroded waterholes with little tree cover.  It was hot.  Once I
> measured the ground temperature at 56oc.   I would never have expected
> anyone else to join me in such conditions, including my (male) field
> assistants.  I sent them off to watch the shadier water bodies.
> Denise Lawungkurr  Goodfellow
> PO Box 71
> Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
> 043 8650 835
> On 17 Jan 2017, at 8:38 am, Chris Charles <> wrote:
>> A spouse that goes birding with you in 44 deg?
>> You seem to have won the lottery of life Chris.
>> Chris Charles
>> +61412911184
>> Licole Monopods
>> <>
>>> On 15 Jan 2017, at 5:22 pm, Chris Lloyd <> wrote:
>>> Some months ago the idea of a week birding in western NSW seemed like
>>> a good idea. A warm but pleasant amble down the Lachlan  with the
>>> caravan brought us to Forbes and three booked nights at the CP. Now
>>> closer followers of ancient rituals and weather forecasts would
>>> already have noted some red flags. We simply noted that the CP was
>>> choka-block and moved straight to Gums Swamp. Nothing spectacular but
>>> a good collection of old friends and, like all the countryside
>>> around, plenty of  water and greenery. Returning to the Park we found
>>> an unusual number of men with large black sideburns and women
>>> sporting some variation of the onesie with sequins. The penny dropped
>>> when an otherwise perfectly competent string quartet moved from
>>> Dublin to Memphis while rehearsing in the camp kitchen at the request
>>> of the large impromptu audience. At this point it was 6pm and a bracing
> 36° with 38° for the following day.
>>> A day of retail therapy, the library and the hysterical society kept
>>> our cool until an inevitable return to the van and afternoon of
>>> recline in the air-con. It was not to be as the combined assault of
>>> frig and AC compressors brought on a denial of service from the aging
>>> circuitry of the Park. Tempers flared as much trousers as the system
> tripped out every half an hour or so.
>>> There were compensations. For those rooting for the King there was a
>>> crooner at a battery power mike and for us the delight of warm beer
>>> and wine while watching the aerobatics of four first year Collared
>>> Sparrowhawks intent of playing tag with cockies while a brace of
>>> White-faced Heron observed both phenomena.
>>> It was with a brave face that we informed Rhinestone cowboys and
>>> girls that we were headed for the milder climes of Lake Cargelligo.
>>> 39° in Condobolin made the bitumen toasty for the dog’s pads and a
>>> hefty 20 knot north-westerly made clothes driers redundant. As we
>>> motored along the Valley Way to LC the Bureau raised the bar for the
>>> following day to 44° and we started to consider professional help.
>>> Then we struck the ephemeral lakes and flooded paddocks. Most of the
>>> world’s population of Pacific Herons seemed to have descended and
>>> around their legs wandered Black-winged stilts of all ages,
>>> Red-necked Stints, coots, and plovers. Overhead in the wind were the
>>> Marsh Terns in flocks of dozens while all three ibis species strutted
>>> their stuff in the greasy water. There was nothing new, just
>>> thousands of ‘good’ birds loafing or foraging as the whim took them.
>>> There were stilts on to their third or fourth clutch while the
>>> previous off-spring wandered around the sitting adults. Ducks and
>>> grebes seemed to have endless trails of bobbing heads either behind
>>> them or on their backs. A pair of Plumed-whistlers did not seem to
>>> have lost one of their near grown brood to the Kites as they wove
>>> through a forest of egret and spoonbill legs and bills. A quick dash
>>> through the furnace blast to the water’s edge showed that, what
>>> appeared a still surface from three metres away was a swirling stew of on
> algae, insects, fish and crustaceans. It might be hot but nobody was going
> starve.
>>> Friday lived up to everyone’s expectations and to the 44° nature
>>> added a powerful north-westerly and thick black clouds to provide an
>>> apocalyptic edge. Gallons of water and a little bit of German
>>> refrigeration engineering kept two adults and a small spotted dog
>>> from joining their respective makers as lunchtime hit the 40 mark and
>>> climbing. But nothing stopped the birds. We peered in awe out the
>>> windows as half a dozen Major Mitchells cartwheeled across the park
>>> and Peewees and Pied Butcherbirds used the sprinklers to assist the
>>> luncheon efforts. Two Butcherbirds carried out a full mating display
>>> of neck pecks and vocals on the wing while their youngster watched
>>> on. The White-Ibis, using their suburban experience wandered about
>>> lawns and bins exuding an air of ‘nothing to see here’ as dog and
>>> humans cringed under wet cotton. The one great saving grace of the
>>> west in summer is the evenings and despite the mid-forties onslaught by
> midnight you are reaching for the sheet and then the blanket.
>>> Dawn brought 30 degrees and a south-westerly that brought the ‘feel’
>>> down to 25° but with a sun that had the bite of a White Pointer. So
>>> it’s off for a day along the Lachlan and the lakes. Once again no new
>>> birds but who needs new birds when thirteen adult Nankeen Herons rise
>>> from a water race and disport themselves around the trees? Everywhere
>>> water moved there were fishers dipping a bill in their favourite
>>> hole. At the regulator there was a line of black and tans in their
>>> yellow waders as the water rolled past. No one was missing out and
>>> even the ill equipped ibis were making a catch. Just up river a human
>>> family complained they had got little other than carp fingerlings.
>>> The locals were as awe inspiring as the birds as they maintained
>>> their laconic bonhomie to melting birders and still mowed lawns,
>>> welded pipe or served customers. Cargelligo again lives up to its
>>> reputation as a hot spot to bird.
>>> <HR>
>>> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
>>> <BR> 
>>> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
>>> <BR>
>>> </HR>
>> <HR>
>> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
>> <BR> 
>> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
>> <BR>
>> </HR>
> <HR>
> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
> <BR> 
> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
> <BR>
> </HR>

<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU