Re:Townsville's rain and birds

To: Ian Fraser <>
Subject: Re:Townsville's rain and birds
From: Alexandra Appleman <>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 20:42:47 +1000 (EST)
Thanks Ian; looking back i am finding it pretty unimaginable myself.

There's quite a lot of hardbreak out there.  I count myself lucky in many
respects; after a few "heartbreaks" of my own in recent years I am pretty
short on 'material' possessions, but dread the thought of losing my 
telescope, computer files, bird books, note books I have scrawled in over
the years....

After the initial flood of ~550ml, the rains continued, 150ml to 3 pm on
Monday; a further 85ml overnight, thwarting attempts to return to 
'normal'. I was was amazed how the paradigm shifted; 'Normal' became a
case of "here we go again; close all the windows, batten down the doors."

During yesterday afternoons's downpour water ran again ankle deep
under the house from runoff from my own and neighbouring saturated
gardens. I have come to the conclusion that whilst no damage is being done
is it best to let water find it's own course and clean up afterwards.

I am amazed at the resilience of birds and can only speculate how and
where they found shelter. This morning I awoke to a welcome (though short
lived) break in the weather.  After nearly two days absence the
white-gaped honeyeater was back searching for insects on the fly screens,
the aust. white ibis was working over the garden under the mango tree; fig
birds were calling as was the little shrike-thrush; I actually welcomed
magpie larks, sparrows and common mynas back into the street-scape - the
latter appearing the moment the wheeelie bins were put out; a great
bowerbird hovered momentarily on the fence to inspect a flowering shrub
and black kites are once more on patrol in the sky between showers.  Last
night there was cacophany of frog calls which fell silent on the ghostly 
rasping of a barn owl.

Later in the morning I drove to Ingham for numerous appointments and hit
heavy rain again. Largely overlooked in all the media coverage attracted
by Townsville; Ingham experienced it's second highest flood in 30 years
last weekend and is bracing itself tonight for a second flood in less than
a week.

Cheers and keep up the ACT bird reports

Alex Appleman

On Mon, 12 Jan 1998, Ian Fraser

> Dear Alex,
> Delighted to hear you're OK; like many others we've been thinking of you and
> other birding-aus friends (and others!) up there. 20" sounds as unimaginable
> to us as our 5mm for December probably does to you...
> Best wishes 
> Ian
> ---
> Ian Fraser, Canberra  
> Environment Tours; Vertego Environmental Writing Consultancy
> ph: 02 62491560       fax: 02 62473227

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