Drought in full swing

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Drought in full swing
From: "Neville Schrader" <>
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 19:30:01 +1000
At Parkes NSW a drought is gripping the region with no rain for several months. Most stock dams are dry, as is Lake Cowal (plenty of dead carp, great smell). The effect to-date is : Noisy Friarbirds, Little Friarbirds, Little Lorikeets, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Red-browed Finches have all left the district. A large number of other species have reduced in number, only one Fuscous Honeyeater observed today, no Yellow-tufted H/e or White-naped, a small flock of 4 Brown-headed H/e. In the search for food species such as Chestnut-rumped Heath-wrens have been observed feeding in the open scratching the ground like chooks, a different view.
 The locals are saying it is a 1960 style drought, a dry and hot summer followed by a dry cold winter. With Burrandong dam down to 1.7p.c. it is shaping up to an interesting year.
So far, the main effect in my back yard has seen the sugar and water has increased to 9 bottles a day, feeding flocks of Blue-faced H/e, Red Wattlebirds and White-plumed H/e's. For the first time I have got Crimson Rosella's a first for Parkes and last month a new species for the district a Koel spent several days call his head off on Memorial Hill in the centre of Parkes. The Dollarbirds and Rainbow-birds have left for greener pastures.
At Forbes (Gum Swamp) the pair of White-breasted Sea-eagles are still in attendance and building a new nest, the Darters are nesting with young and the Blue-billed Ducks are thinking about it. 
Neville Schrader
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