Cyclonic Winds 9 June & Storm in Newcastle/Lake Macquarie

Subject: Cyclonic Winds 9 June & Storm in Newcastle/Lake Macquarie
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 12:02:57 +1000 (EST)
Hello all,

Bemused by the "Emergency" weather reports over the last few days for the
Sydney region.  Pity these emergency reports were not issued for the
Newcastle/Lake Macquarie region for the beast of a wind that smacked
through this area 9 June 2007.  Let me assure anyone interested that this
storm was no ordinary gale: I'm not keen at all to see 120yr old spotted
doing the twist again for a while!

Birdlife impacts in this region are extreme - even the local noisy miner
band around my backyard have, still, a week and a half later, not
re-configured and numbers mysteriously dropped from around 20 to six
rather exhausted looking birds who've been tending to feed close to ground
level in the meantime. Who could blame them. The winds knocked out the
remaining swamp mahogany flowers and have ditched extensive buds that were
developing on spotted gum across the region: this seems to have swept
migrating honeyeaters away which is perhaps not surprising.

Curious as to any other Hunter birdwatchers with stories about the storm
impact on birds in this area. Coastal areas copped a major hiding, and in
some areas of forest nest hollows (of all sizes) and old growth trees more
generally have been decimated.  Powerful Owl choices in the
Kotara/Blackbutt Reserve areas are now severely limited as they appear to
have lost their two favourite next bunkers. Hollow-ridden red gum around
the shores of Lake Macquarie also sustained extensive hollow reduction:
I'm quite aware that storm events are part of how forests are "shaped",
but this one seems to me to have taken out more than the usual number of
viable hollows.

Craig Williams


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