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)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gilmpse of Paradise

Northern Quoll trapping has been my life for the past month. The first quoll survey was up in the Kimberley at Paradise Station, with nine days of trapping, but no quolls recorded. The area is a little south of the Kimberley's Northern Quoll normal range and no rocky hills (that quolls like), so the result is not surprising.

We may not have seen any quolls, but we did record 90 species of birds, including five species not recorded on previous surveys.

Some of the scenery on Paradise is stunning, especially the many boab trees.

This ancient boab by the access road, we called the tree of faces.

It was cover in these weird ET type of faces.

Recent rains had turned the landscape green and filled many of the small lakes on the station.

Waterbirds seemed in low numbers on these lakes, maybe due to low food production here. This White-necked Heron thought it was a good place to look for frogs and fish.

One of our favourite quoll trapping sites at Snake Creek, nice and cool with lots of birds.

Quoll trapping involves lots of daily walking, as each Elliot or cage trap is at least 50 metres apart and there are usually 25 of these traps in a line at one site (then you must return the the car!). A survey such as this may have three or four sites.

Camera traps are also used, but this time only recorded a whole bunch of local birds coming to feed or drink.

One of the regulars caught in our quoll traps were these Northern Blue-tongues (Tiliqua scincoides).

He looks annoyed.

Evening is my favourite time of day, cool, with the daytime animals going to sleep and the night animals just waking up. We flushed a number of Chestnut-backed Button-quails here, which was a new Australian bird species for me.

A beautiful moon rise. This is one of our trapping sites for our next full fauna survey at Paradise in two weeks.


Iain D. Williams said...

HI Richard; I always keep tabs on your blog - interesting... Is the northern quoll image one of yours? I've seen the southern quoll, but never the northern - nice animal.. SAFE travelling, Iain

Bob Pelkey said...

It's good to see you using "traditional" photography again.

Stu said...

Hope you find some quolls next time........

Richard King said...

Thanks guys. The quoll pic isn't mine and yes Stu we did catch on our next trip. Keep an eye out in the next few days.