Reprieve from the drought: Copley Retention Dam

After 3 years of drought, the thriving bird haven of the Copley Retention Dam had almost completely evaporated. Flooding summer rains in the Northern Flinders Ranges replenished the dam overnight.

Throughout the flood / drought cycle, Copley Retention Dam is supporting over 70 recorded bird species, many of which are profiled on the Flinders Ranges Field Naturalists site including birds classified as Rare by the South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act, such as

  • Musk Duck
  • Blue-billed Duck
  • Australasian Darter
  • Elegant Parrot
  • Great Crested Grebe.
Retention Dam in drought
Retention Dam in flood

Dust Devil

Also known as Willy Willies, Dust Devils are a common site around the Flinders Ranges. The Bureau of Meteorology define the phenomena as

A localised dust filled vortex similar in shape to a tornado but of much less strength. They differ from dust storms in that they are a more localised and short-lived event. They form due to intense heating at the surface causing a rapid upward movement of parcel of air. This displacement of the surface air causes an inward movement of surrounding air, creating the common spiral shape of the dust devil. Dust devils are generally small in size compared with tornadoes, being about 3-100m in diameter and up to 300m high. Wind speeds inside the vortex reach a maximum of 100km/hr.

Dust Devil near Copley