Less than ideal conditions beckoned for this years count, indeed when I woke up at 5.15 am and heard the rain pelting down on the roof, I fired up the computer and checked the rain radar and saw that it was going to continue to bucket down, (especially at Balook) for the foreseeable future. I put the text through to Ranger Craig, who soon phoned back and told me the decision had been made given the weather to postpone. He said he would go up anyway just in case anyone turned up, and I returned to bed.
Much to my surprise, 2 days later I heard the news, that when Craig arrived at the Visitors Centre there was quite a crowd, who despite the weather were raring to go (much kudos to those hardy souls).
Reports suggest that the inclement weather may have influenced the survey, with several sites unusually recording no calls whatsoever. There were however Lyrebirds around with reports of a group foraging directly in front of the Visitors Centre. Possibly the much needed rain produced ideal conditions for the birds to feed, so inconveniently the boys were more focused on filling their stomachs, rather than attracting the ladies with their fancy calls. Despite the visual sightings, only two male birds within the survey area could be properly counted using our call based technique. Hopefully the drop in numbers can be attributable to the conditions, rather than more sinister reasons such as increased fox numbers. In any case I am sure we will be back next year with hopefully more favourable conditions to do it all again. I also hope that despite the conditions that the hardy survey team had a great morning and the usual scrumptious breakfast at the guest house.
PS. To any of the attendees that braved the conditions and got a good photo of any aspect of the morning, it would be great if you could forward it on, so we could add it to this report.