A wet outback in September

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Subject: A wet outback in September
From: Philip Maher <>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 19:22:37 +1100
We are not long back from a trip through western NSW, SW Queensland, down
the Strzelecki Track, through the Flinders Ranges and the South Australian
and Victorian mallee.

There is a trip report and checklist of all species seen including reptiles,
amphibians and butterflies on the website. There is also a link to wobbly
footage of an inland dotterel eating a Zygophyllum species on Mt Lyndhurst
Station and a mass of little black cormorants over the Strzelecki Creek.

I have travelled this route over thirty times so was surprised to see, for a
trip first, three pale-headed rosellas on the Darling River at Bourke. There
was no indication that they were anything other than wild birds.

Almost every passerine we saw was either nest building or feeding dependent
young, which was great to see after so many years with poor breeding
results. Having said that, the resident bird numbers are at rock bottom and
it will take some time for numbers to build.

The cool September and the big rain events further north saw summer migrants
not venturing too far south. For instance, good numbers of white-browed and
lesser numbers of masked woodswallows were really only seen about
Thargomindah in SW Queensland.

The highlight for me was seeing the inland wet again after years of drought
and the vegetation responding magnificently to rain. A lot of the vegetation
was photographed and plant names are being added to photos on the website.
My reference material focuses on Western NSW rather than the Corner
Country/Strzelecki/SW Queensland so I am happy to be corrected on plant
names or pointed in the right direction where I¹m struggling to work out
the species.

Let's hope for a few more wet years.


Philip Maher

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