Gluepot after the fires

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Gluepot after the fires
From: "Peter Waanders" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2007 16:58:48 +0930
Hi all
You may remember the huge bushfires that swept through the mallee complex of
which Birds Australia Gluepot Reserve ('Gluepot') is part, in December last
year. In total, over 100,000 ha got burnt, about 10,000 of which on Gluepot
(or about 20% of the property).
I have been to Gluepot on numerous occasions since and thought I'd report
the following observations.
Black-eared Miners seem to be quite disturbed by the events. Several very
large groups of hybrids and BEM's have formed, possibly from displaced birds
joining existing colonies, roaming around the area. Just lately they seem to
become a little more settled in specific sites and hopefully will start
thinking about forming breeding colonies once (if) autumn rains commence.
Red-lored Whistlers are the species most affected. All but one of the known
territories on Gluepot have been burnt out. These birds are hard to find
outside the breeding season at the best of times. Again just lately one
territory appears to be becoming established in an area previously
unoccupied by the species.
The Malleefowl situation was pretty dire even before the fires, with little
recovery from the 2002-03 drought and only very few working mounds last
year. One active mound miraculously survived in a small 'island' of unburnt
All the other Mallee specialties of Gluepot are unaffected, with good
numbers of Gilbert's Whistler, Shy Heathwren, Southern Scrubrobin,
White-browed Treecreeper, Chestnut Quail-thrush etc etc. Most of the
semi-nomadic White-fronted Honeyeaters seem to have departed for wetter
climes, with White-eared now the third-most common Honeyeater (after
Yellow-plumed and Spiny-cheeked).
Striated Grasswren numbers seem down a bit and it is likely that many of the
birds that would have inhabited the extensive spinifex patches that got
burnt, have perished either during or after the fires due to food shortages
due to increased competitation and drought. But there are still plenty to be
All in all, the birds are all still there, we're anxiously awaiting how this
autumn/winter season will pan out in terms of rainfall which will set the
scene for next Spring.
See my website below for further info.

Peter Waanders
Waikerie, South Australia
mob.: 0407 800264
sat.: 0424 212889

SA Birding:

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