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)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Woodie Woodie - Back again

Woodie Woodie minesite in the east Pilbara is a place I know well now, as this was the 5th survey there. Only a quick Level 1 site survey, but interesting enough, with fairly cool days (for the Pilbara!) and minimal flies.

Hopefully Port Headland will be as nice and forgiving, as the big Level 2 fauna survey there begins tomorrow. I know I'm in for some hot humid environs when I return, as it's off to Miri in Sarawak Borneo for a week. My wife has work there, so this time I'm tagging along (can't let her have all the fun) to do some birding and get some wildlife video. New Borneo birding areas to explore, such as Niah Caves and Lambir Hills, can't wait!

Here are a few pictures of the Woodie Woodie area, taken last week.

Woodie is a beautiful but harsh place, with big areas of hard spiky spinifex, creeklines and numerous rocky ridges. Always a good spot for interesting arid zone animals.

Water is pumped from the deeper mining pits and creates an 'oasis in the desert' for the local animals. The water here is fresh, clean and of a good quality compared to some other minesites.

At the ponds there were good numbers of waterbirds, such as Coots, Australasian Grebes, Black Duck, Hardhead and Reed-Warblers. The excess water flows down the small creeks, which had at least 3 species of native fish that we saw, plus honeyeaters and finches in the creekline vegetation.

It was a little windy and dry during the survey, so birds were few and far between, once you moved away from water. The beautiful call of the Pied Butchbirds were always heard at the survey sites.

One of the 'nuked sites' as we called them. Lightning starts fires that often burn large areas of spinifex grass, but life survives even at these barren sites. Last time we caught a number of geckos and dragons that live amongst the charred rocks.

One of my favourite areas at Woodie, a beautiful creek with a rock gorge to the north of the minesite. We have explored this area during previous surveys and on a warm night the rocks are alive with many species of geckos and other reptiles.


madibirder said...

Hmmm... Miri for a week. I know you're going to have fun there.

Fred said...

mmm woodie woodie looks like a barren place, however with all that water around I would think you can get alot of action. Yet another place on my list of visits to come.

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