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, May 7, 2010

Camballin Fauna Survey Part 2

Just back from my survey this week in the east Pilbara at Coobina. Here are some more pictures of the last Camballin survey.



Fauna surveys are not just about trapping animals, but also involve bird and habitat suveys. At the Camballin site there were still a few billabongs that had water in them from the wet season. These Australian White Ibis were feeding on the easy pickings in the drying waterhole.




One of the bigger billabongs used by the local cattle, which was also a area for Whiskered Tern, Royal Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis and Brolgas. 




A survey of the local creek, which flows inland from the Fitzroy River barriage dam. Small noisy colonies of Black Flying Foxes and Rufous Night-herons were found along here.




Looking like something from Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a big fig tree pushes through the sandstone rocks of the creek.



The creek narrows, but still flows inland towards a failed agricultural project from the 1960's on the Camballin floodplain.




At one of our trap sites we found six of these weird small mounds about 3 metres in diameter with a small pile of sticks in the centre. We still don't know what made them. Birds? Crocodiles? Humans?




Night spot-lighting surveys are also an important element of fauna surveys, as most Australian animals are nocturnal. We usually have our dinner outdoors near our survey site on these nights, such as this old dam that had about 400 Plumed Whistling-Ducks.






The whistling-ducks weren't too happy about us being at their dam, but didn't mind the local cattle coming in for their evening drink.


 

We often get a beautiful sunset to enjoy with our dinner!


 

At sunset the whistling-ducks formed small flocks and moved off to new wetlands and feeding areas for the night.

 


A beautiful sight to end the day!

3 comments:

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

You sure you don't need an assistant? Can do pit falls, done a bit of outback moth-trapping and bat detecting, can drive off-road on dirt tracks in cruisers OK... and not too bad at IDing Aussie birds.

Great pics as always

Cheers

Davo

Richard King said...

Hi Davo. Sounds like you have the right stuff! I usually only work as a Consultant Zoologist on contract to environmental companies. A lot of people put their names down with the bigger environmental companies and do sometimes get work.

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