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.

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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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