Day 6 - Photo 17: Christie and Sean lead the camels Camp Day 6 (July 7th). Lat -23 .83292. Long 138.55421. Elev 91m. Time 6.36 pm.
By Paul Flemons, Australian Museum

Tip: Hover mouse over photo to see the caption. Click on photos to see different sizes and/or make a comment on Flickr.

Magnificent weather continuing – not a cloud in the sky at sunset. Very light breeze. Day was warm and excellent for walking.  The clear skies will ensure another cold night tonight. Long walking day today – about 9km over undulating terrain covered predominantly in spinifex and saltbush made for rugged walking with occasional respite afforded by dry and not so dry claypans. Once again we have chosen to camp on a dry claypan as it suits the camels for loading and unloading.

The Zebra finches are clearly doing well after the rain and flush of growth – they are by far and away the most dominant bird species. Today we saw a family group – the young birds identifiable by their dark bills, compared to the bright orange of their parents. We were attracted to them by their begging calls and watched them being fed by their attentive parents. Several members of the group are interested in the array of tracks on the sand dunes and we spend some of our time debating over fox, dog and cat tracks, the amazing “highways” of rodent tracks and unusual slide marks that could be snake, lizard or tail marks. Bustard tracks were found today, characterised by the three toe print, and dragging nail marks. Later in the afternoon we flushed a Bustard from the Gidgee scrub which caused excitement and wonderment in the group.

Day 6 - Photo 24: Paul and Istan The camels have settled in to their work on the trek. The first few days were trying for the cameleers, who had to work very hard to lead the “strings” of 19 camels through the desert. It was also a steep learning curve for us, learning to help load and unload the camels and fit them into their saddles each day. We’re all getting into the groove now and the morning loading is smooth and efficient, for both people and camels! The afternoon unloading is pleasant and relaxing, with ample opportunity for rubbing down our “favourite” camels and giving them cuddles. The camels are very vocal and we can tell they enjoy their afternoon hugs as they sigh and in some cases, lie their head right down on the ground.

Highlights of the day

Birds: White Backed Swallow, Rufous Crowned Emu Wren, White Winged Triller, White Backed Swallow, Australian Bustard, Chirruping Wedgebill, Australian Hobby.
Reptiles: Central Military Dragon

Camel trekking from previous days

  • Collecting in the Simpson Desert by camel, Day 5. Story »
  • Collecting in the Simpson Desert Day 4. Story »
  • Simpson Desert full of life on camel trek Day 3. Story »
  • Follow camel trek collecting animals in the Simpson Desert, F.W. Qld. Story »

Day 6 - Photo 20: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 11: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 19: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 9: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 16: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 28: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 23: Beth and camel Day 6 - Photo 18: Beth and camels Day 6 - Photo 22: Bustard tracks Day 6 - Photo 15: Drying claypan between dunes Day 6 - Photo 13: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 21: Lunch break Day 6 - Photo 26: Sleeping quarters Day 6 - Photo 25: Yeehaa!Day 6 - Photo 27: Identification please Day 6 - Photo 8: Identification please