The wet season is here! After a solid two days of rain (there was a cyclone warning off the coast of Darwin), the lush landscape has gotten even greener. It seems that this rain was exactly what the wrens have been waiting for: yesterday I saw my first wren at Coomalie with nesting material. We are hoping the rest of the population will follow suite shortly.
The intense rain throughout the area has caused the creek to rise rapidly—what I could wade across easily just days before is now a flooded swamp of pandanus, and as there is the wet season potential of saltwater crocodiles, there probably isn’t any creek crossings in our future. Four and a half inches in the last two days and more on the way…
An approaching storm
Grass grows quickly in the wet season
I’ll soon be able to tell, thanks to color spectrophotometry of back feathers and some photoshop magic across the back!
Well, the wet season hasn’t really been that wet this year, but once again Coomalie has transformed into vivid greens and lush grass. We have had a very hot dry week, but the forecast ahead is for rain so we are hoping that it will trigger the breeding season, which should peak during the month or so that we are here. Matt and Serina are here as volunteers; as recent graduates, they are traveling the world and gaining field experience in places like Coomalie.
As a pilot for the upcoming dry season, we are putting out a couple radio tags on males during this wet season so that we can closely track their movements. The tags will give us fine-scale information on what habitat the wrens are using and how they are allocating their time in different habitats, as well as helping us figure out where they go when they aren’t in their usual haunts!