Thursday, 3 January 2008


Anyone wondering about rainfall west of the Blue Mountains should take a look at my patented Duck Indicator Index, which I invented 5 minutes ago.

I snapped this happy fellow at the Narrandera swimming pool. No, that is not the swimming pool behind the duck, and the ducks do not appear to make regular appearances in the swimming pool. The water behind the duck is part of Lake Talbot, and the swimming pool is right on the shoreline.

There were quite a few ducks lounging around with this duck, and I noticed during my travels that every dam had ducks on it - because almost every dam out there was full or overflowing. Some roadside verges were no longer passable because they had turned into swamps.

I have no idea what duck numbers were like before the drought, but the presence of ducks on every body of water must mean that there are a reasonable number around, and there is plenty of water for them now. Although I don't know what the inland lakes are looking like - I only saw farm dams.

I can only surmise that duck numbers are down, since I rarely saw more than 10 ducks on a small dam. Many years ago, I jumped a fence and snuck up on a dam with my shot gun and when I poked my head over the dam wall, the air turned brown with ducks. It was like a locust plague taking flight. I am sure the dam level dropped about six inches when the water displaced by all those ducks slopped back into place.

Being useless with a shotgun, I failed to get even one.

But the sky is not going to turn dark with ducks this year. They will not be blotting out the sun. Which is a pity, since I am partial to a bit of duck.

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