Australian Lake Eyre floods recreate bird paradise

This video is called Australian Outback | Floods Transform Lake Eyre.

From Wildlife Extra:

Lake Eyre floods again

For a so-called ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, Lake Eyre has flooded again for the fourth year in a row.

After a very quick initial pulse of water from significant local rains around Lake Eyre late February/early March, water on the lake receded rapidly, but more water has entered Lake Eyre North.

Lake Eyre North had dropped from 70% surface coverage in mid-March to below 15% at the start of May. Now water has entered from the Warburton Creek again so surface coverage is now back to around 20%. Water is travelling well down the Warburton Groove towards Belt Bay, but this will not be as significant as the last three years. Water in some locations along the Warburton Creek is already dropping, although there is still a little bit more water to come from the Diamantina catchment, which all locations are now below minor flood levels.

At 15 metres below sea level and Australia’s lowest point, Lake Eyre has only filled to the brim three times in the last 150 years.

How to visit Lake Eyre

Wrightsair ( ) has charter flights affording fantastic views of the prehistoric river systems that enter the lake, forming a magnificent pattern of colour.

Birding paradise

One result of this extraordinary event is prolific birdlife returning to the vast inland sea, making it a veritable birding paradise. With a lot of water on the ground it is not uncommon to see red-necked avocets, grey teals and black-tailed native hens. Other birds taking advantage of the conditions in varying habitats are brown songlarks, inland dotterels (with chicks), orange and crimson chats and red-backed kingfishers, which are all being seen readily within the area.

Recent floods

2009. The 2009 Lake Eyre flood peaked at 1.5 m (5 ft) deep in late May which is a quarter of its maximum recorded depth of 6 m (20 ft). 9 km3 (2 cu mi) of water crossed the Queensland-South Australian border with most of it coming from massive floods in the Georgina River. However the greater proportion soaked into the desert or evaporated en route to the lake leaving less than 4 km3 (0.24 cu mi) in the lake which covered an area of 800 km2 (309 sq mi) or 12% of the lake. As the flood did not start filling the lake’s deepest point (Belt Bay) until late March little bird life appeared preferring instead to nest in the upper reaches of the Lake Eyre Basin, north of Birdsville, where large lakes appeared in January as a result of monsoonal rain.


The high rainfall in summer sent flood water into the Diamantina, Georgina and Cooper Creek catchments of the Lake Eyre basin, with the Cooper Creek reaching the lake for the first time since 1990. The higher rainfall has prompted many different birds to migrate back to the area for breeding.


Heavy rain in early March filled the southern end of the lake, with the north of the usually-dry salt pan about 75 per cent covered with water continuing to inflow from local creeks.

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