Two summers at Wongarbon
Mon, 3 Mar 2003 15:54:11 +1100
I moved from Dubbo to the sleepy village of Wongarbon (17km east of Dubbo)
in September 01.
Two summers have come and gone (a sad day as it can only mean winter is on
it's way). The contrast between these two summers has been stark. Summer
01/02 in my garden was full of songlarks, trillers and Brown Quail and
cuckoos. The callistemons had a bountiful flowering and were full of
Little & Noisy Friarbirds, Spiny-cheeked, Striped & Blue-faced Honeyeaters
and Yellow-throated Miners. Apostlebirds and Choughs were regular, if not
daily, visitors. Double-barred Finches were in the garden most days.
Summer 02/03 has been an extremely dry one. The callistemons barely
bothered putting on flowers and the number of honeyeaters was reduced to
the resident pair of Striped, a couple of Spiny-cheeked and only the
occasional visit by the miners and Blue-faced. I had a male triller for a
week before it moved on. Songlarks have been completely absent as have
the quail - probably as a result of the paddocks across the road and next
door having been reduced to bare earth - not a blade of grass to be seen.
I haven't seen a cuckoo all summer around Dubbo until a fortnight ago when
a lone Pallid was seen between Wongarbon and Dubbo. The Apostlebirds have
been constant but the Choughs appear to have found better foraging
grounds. The finches haven't been seen at all this summer. Into the
garden have moved White-eared Honeyeaters (invariable seen at the pond by
my window). A family of Sittellas have been coming into the garden on a
regular basis. These latter two species have obviously moved from the
nearby forest reserve. The drought, however, seems to have knocked the
finches out completely. Undoubtedly they'll return once the drought's
back is broken.
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- Two summers at Wongarbon,
David . Geering <=
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