Ross River parkland in the Dry season

olive bird on twig
Brown Honeyeater

As I’ve noted in a few recent posts and comments, we’ve had very little rain for about four months now (even as compared to our usual scanty winter rainfall) and the effects of our failed Wet season have been exacerbated. Townsville’s parks and gardens have suffered as much as the rest of the city, as a recent visit to the Ross River parklands just upstream from the Bowen Rd bridge reminded me.

Birds were still around in reasonable numbers – Magpie-larks, a couple of Plovers on mud-banks beside the water, Peaceful Doves, a Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica) winging its way down-river, White Ibis, a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, a Friarbird feeding on the flowers of an African Tulip tree, and lots of Brown Honeyeaters – but the park itself …

dry park
Ross River parkland mid-October 2015

Some time in the next month those dead-looking poincianas at the left of the picture will burst into bright orange-red flower and then, given decent rain, a full suit of broad feathery leaves. Even the grass will come back, although that’s hard to believe now. The onset of the Wet is our nearest equivalent to a temperate-climate Spring and we do look forward to it just as much.

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