Collecting in the Simpson Desert Day 4

Collecting in the Simpson Desert Day 4

  • By Lynne Sealie
  •  July 6, 2011
  •  Tags:  Australia's species Blogs & news

Day 4 - Photo 5: Beth Camp Day 4 (July 5th). Lat -23 .92613. Long 138.62978. Elev 70 m Time 7.19 pm.
By Paul Flemons, Australian Museum
Weather has been beautiful today, cool breeze now that the sun has gone down.

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We are camped next to Pulchera Waterhole, full of water after the rains of the past few years. There is a lot of birdlife here as you might expect, with pelicans, caspian terns, gull billed terns and brolgas prevalent. We are constantly followed by a coterie of raptors consisting mostly of black kites and brown falcons with as many as 50 or more sometimes circling above us undoubtedly attracted by the potential for insects and small mammals and reptiles being flushed by our caravan of camels.

Beth and I spent the day collecting away from the rest of the camel trekking group on a 6 hour 10km walk to visit a large flooded claypan south west of Pulchera Waterhole. The landscape continues to amaze us with its lushness and abundance of plant and animal life. The plants in full flowering glory for everyone to see and some fungi. The animals do not give up their secrets so easily and we have had to rely on animal tracks and scats to get an understanding of just how rich and abundant the animal life is. The exotics such as foxes,cats, pigs, and house mice have been particularly prevalent in tracks and scats. On the natives side of things we have seen dog tracks we assume are dingos, lots of emu and brolga prints and the native rat diggings are everywhere indicating they are experiencing a boom year which the raptors are benefiting from. We are somewhat perplexed by the absence of large macropods both in sightings and in tracks.

Highlights of the day

Birds: Red Backed Kingfisher, Plumed Whistling Duck, Yellow Chat, Zebra Finches, Brolgas, Pelicans, Gibber Bird, Variegated Fairy Wren
Reptiles: Central Military Dragon, Central Bearded Dragon.

Camel trekking from previous days

  • Simpson Desert full of life on camel trek Day 3. Story »
  • Follow camel trek collecting animals in the Simpson Desert, F.W. Qld. Story »

Last night we showed other members of the camel trek a number of insects using the DinoLite, a small mobile microscope (photo 1). The result was some interesting images. Day 4 - Photo 1: Beth Day 4 - Photo 9: Identification please Day 4 - Photo 11: Identification please Day 4 - Photo 6: Identification please Day 4 - Photo 2: Identification please Day 4 - Photo 4: Low Rattle-pod Day 4 - Photo 3: Identification please Day 3 - Photo 12: Megalorhipida leucodactyla