A couple of
recent messages to the chat line expressed disappointment at the lack of
waterbirds (numbers and variety) at Lake Bathurst (Morass) [B] and Lake George [G] although both lakes have partially
re-filled. Let?s put this into perspective: What happens or doesn?t happen at
those lakes is not just determined by local conditions but also by events
hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.
If B & G
hold water during periods of drought in inland Australia, they
become important refuges for many species of waterbirds which can congregate in
large numbers, as COG?s past surveys have shown. However, with inland
Australia currently experiencing an
exceptional boom - lakes are filling and creeks and rivers are running - many
waterbirds have ?moved to where the action is? and aim to breed there rather
than populating our local lakes.
matters can be even a bit more complex: At the first flooding of dry water
bodies many nutrients are released, and birds may take advantage of this
situation. There were certainly more waterbirds when B & G held water for
the first time earlier this year than there are now.
we are lucky enough that B & G will fill further and retain their water, we
will probably see an increase in waterbird numbers and species, but just not
correction: In yesterday?s message about our efforts to get access to the shores
of Lake George through local landholders, I
wrongly stated it is the ?western? side of the lake, however, it should have
read the ?eastern? shore.