The biggest rains in 30 years

Guest bloggers
Published 24 Apr 2020 
by Greg Carroll 
about  Naree Station  

The ephemeral wetlands are ready for water birds. Photo Kylie Fisher.<br/> The ephemeral wetlands are ready for water birds. Photo Kylie Fisher.
Birds in the wetlands at dusk. Photo Kylie Fisher.<br/> Birds in the wetlands at dusk. Photo Kylie Fisher.
Shield Shrimp have hatched. Photo Greg Carroll.<br/> Shield Shrimp have hatched. Photo Greg Carroll.
A birds-eye view of the flooding. Photo Kylie Fisher.<br/> A birds-eye view of the flooding. Photo Kylie Fisher.
Floodmarkers show the depth of water rushing over the road. Photo Greg Carroll.<br/> Floodmarkers show the depth of water rushing over the road. Photo Greg Carroll.

The rains have come to Naree, on Budjiti country in far western NSW. In fact, in March we had 116ml in a single day, which is one of the single biggest falls in the area in over 30 years.

This localised rainfall filled up the important ephemeral wetlands on Yantabulla and Naree Station Reserves and has resulted in a burst of plant and animal life already.

On top of that, floodwaters have been flowing in down the Warrego River and Cuttaburra Creek.

As you can imagine, it's been very welcome after a blistering hot summer, during which Naree Station Reserve and Yantabulla Swamp were extremely dry – conditions that facilitated an unprecedented fire that burnt through 2,000 hectares of Yantabulla Reserve and about 5,000 hectares of the whole swamp in total.

I was flooded in for a few weeks but it’s definitely exciting to be here when a flooding event of this significance happens. Now we’re all hoping to see a major bird breeding event as this flood was much larger than the last one, and all the lignum that burnt over summer has now received the inundation it needs to help it spring back to life.

In the meantime, it’s amazing to already see ducks, herons, egrets, avocets and dotterels in abundance within the landscape, and some rarely seen Yellow-billed Spoonbills and Great Cormorants starting to congregate in one of the known breeding areas on Naree.

Birds in the wetlands at dusk. Photo Kylie Fisher.<br/> Birds in the wetlands at dusk. Photo Kylie Fisher.
Shield Shrimp have hatched. Photo Greg Carroll.<br/> Shield Shrimp have hatched. Photo Greg Carroll.
A birds-eye view of the flooding. Photo Kylie Fisher.<br/> A birds-eye view of the flooding. Photo Kylie Fisher.
Floodmarkers show the depth of water rushing over the road. Photo Greg Carroll.<br/> Floodmarkers show the depth of water rushing over the road. Photo Greg Carroll.