Birding in drought conditions

Subject: Birding in drought conditions
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 10:20:08 +1000

A bit of a variation on the "Birding in the Centre in drought conditions" theme.

Late last week I drove from Dubbo to Brisbane and return.  The route I travelled was essentially via back roads for about half the distance - through Manilla, Barraba, Bingara to Warialda, then via Yetman and Texas to the Cunningham Highway east of Inglewood.

I had heard quite a bit about the dry conditions in southern Qld but was pleasantly surprised to see that, while there is no doubting that it was dry, there was plenty of standing, albeit dry, grass.  This was obviously a flow-on from good rain last summer.  This is in complete contrast to that around Dubbo where the grass is replaced by bare paddocks of dirt.

This situation was mirrored by the distribution of small raptors.  There were large numbers of Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite and Brown Falcons all the way from Brisbane to about Coonabarabran.  I saw none south of Coona which fitted perfectly the presence of standing grass.

A very similar, and not surprising, correlation was the presence of lots of Pipits in the grassed area but not further south where the drought conditions are much worse.


David Geering
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
Department of Environment & Conservation
P.O. Box 2111
Dubbo  NSW  2830
Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
Fax: 02 6884 9382

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