The Courier-Mail

EARLY SPRING STIRS CALL OF THE WILD SWARM CHANGE IS CRIT­TER SWEET

- DARYL PASS­MORE BRIAN WIL­LIAMS

SPRING has sprung early in south­east Queens­land — and the wildlife is on the move.

Sev­eral days of above-nor­mal tem­per­a­tures peaked yesterday af­ter­noon with a Bris­bane max­i­mum of 28.4C. That’s 6.6C above the Au­gust av­er­age.

While the win­ter has been slightly colder than usual over­all, the past few warmer days have stirred some of the re­gion’s crit­ters into ad­vanced ac­tion.

Reg­u­lar swoop­ings by ag­gres­sive mag­pies are al­ready be­ing re­ported as the birds be­gin to nest and breed. “They have def­i­nitely come early,” Bi­cy­cle Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Ben Wil­son said.

“It’s way too early. We don’t nor­mally see this ac­tiv­ity un­til Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber. The early heat has con­fused them.”

Sev­eral Queens­land at­tacks have been logged on a na­tional Mag­pie Alert! web­site, in­clud­ing some where vic­tims were in­jured.

“Mag­pie swooped down on my son and pecked his head draw­ing blood,” said the re­port of an in­ci­dent at Windaroo, on the out­skirts of Lo­gan, on Tues­day.

Brush tur­keys have al­ready be­gun build­ing their large nest­ing mounds in back­yards that back on to bush­land ahead of breed­ing.

And snake-catch­ers say calls are com­ing in as the rep­tiles are

roused from na­tion.

“It is mostly car­pet pythons and the oc­ca­sional red-bel­lied black snakes,” Jin­dalee-based snake­catcher Lana Field said.

“Once these cooler nights ease up, we will start see­ing more head out. Give it a week or so.”

Queens­land Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy fore­caster Nyssa Lons­dale said a cool change to­day will see tem­per­a­tures re­turn to about av­er­age. And we are in for some chilly morn­ings, with a low of 7C to­mor­row and 9C on Satur­day.

Cold air that had dumped snow on Can­berra and NSW’s Blue Moun­tains cre­ated yesterday’s storms in the state’s south­east, which was un­usual ac­tiv­ity for this time of year.

Weather­zone fore­caster Alex Zad­nik said it would also bring much colder weather to­day, with a chilly wind fac­tor.

Bris­bane has so far had a dri­erthan-usual win­ter, although rain­fall for the year has been nearly dou­ble the yearly av­er­age of 640.8mm. “But this has cer­tainly not been the story statewide,” he said.

win­ter

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“There has been large rain­fall de­fi­cien­cies through much of cen­tral Queens­land, the cen­tral high­lands and coal­fields, cen­tral west and up to­wards the Gulf coun­try.”

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