And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Friday, November 27, 2009

New Holland Honeyeater

Seeing that due to a computer hard-drive crash that has wiped out all of my video editng programs, I may not be able to place videos on the web for a while, I thought I would put on a few I made some months ago.

These noisy New Holland Honeyeaters (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) spend the year in our garden feeding on all our nectar-producing plant, such as the red Grevilleas in the video. They tend to breed at almost any time of the year and this spring I found a nice little cup-shaped nest in one of our large pot plants.

One of young New Holland Honeyeaters, probably only about a week or two out of the nest. These honeyeaters are usually in little groups and keep a watch out for the goshawks and falcons that often cruise over the garden.

They are an aggressive honeyeater and often drive away other birds, especially smaller honeyeaters from the nectar plants in the garden.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Camballin Fauna Survey

Well, another blog post after being away in the southwest Kimberleys at Camballin for two weeks, down south of Perth for a fauna clearing and a computer crash that wiped out the hard-drive.

This was our camp at Camballin for about two weeks. A basic public camping area on the Fitzroy River about 2 hours east of Derby, with fly nets as home, a small caravan as kitchen and 42 degree temperatures most days.

The Camballin Barrage Dam, one of our main washing and water obtaining areas while at camp. At night with a light you could see all the Freshwater Crocodile eyes shining. It seems that there would be no reason why you could not get to big Saltwater Crocodiles below the dam!

The story goes that you should not go to the same spot at rivers up north, because the saltwater croc, the first time he sees you, second time he plans, third time he gets you!

A story also goes that the northern Aborigines, if they did cross in the same spot a number of times, would cross a river with the old people going last, because the croc would usually grab the last person. If you lost an old person, it was no big deal!

One of the many beautiful Boab trees in the survey area. These trees when in flower are one of the best place to see birds, with many of the nectar-feeding birds, like honeyeaters feeding here all day.

The small silvery acacias had huge amounts of seed pods, attracting large numbers of cockatoo and parrot species.

We caught over 40 species of reptiles in the survey area. This is one of the beautiful small burrowing snakes of the Kimberley area, a Northern Shovel-nosed Snake (Brachyurophis roperi).

Another nice inhabitant of the area, often found basking on fence posts as you drive along fencelines. A Central Netted Dragon (Ctenophorus nuchalis), who managed to give a good nip to a finger when being caught!

Once caught, he's happy just to sit around and get some more warmth.