Last week was a good wildlife observation week for me. I spent a lot of hours travelling. Firstly I took a trip to Brown’s Range, beyond Ringer Soak, to conduct an inspection at the rare earth mine that is starting there. Near Ringer Soak we crossed Sturt Creek, the same river that runs past Billiluna. It has returned to being a series of ponds and small lakes as the dry season begins. Only a few weeks ago it seems, it was three kilometres wide, and impassable. There were herons, ibis and jabiru, magpie geese, cockatoos and galahs. I flew my drone over them and caught some off guard but a drone is not the best way to photograph birds.
Later, I helped Tika again, transporting his football team between Mulan and Kununurra and back. On the trip I added the two common species of kite and wedge-tail eagles to the list. We saw a few bush turkeys – Australian bustards. No brolgas yet this year. At home I have bower birds and mudlarks, butcher birds, and the sparrow-like little chap I have finally identified (tentatively) as an Australian pipit. Some little yellow birds I still have not identified.
On the road I dodged two young goanna, a king brown and a fairly large specimen of what I suspect was a greater whipsnake. I stopped for a closer look at it, but it disappeared into the vegetation on the roadside. I did not follow.
At home in the Single Persons Quarters, two young green tree frogs have taken up residence in the men’s ablution block. One is usually in the shower I use and I must take care not to splash him with shampoo or soap. The other day I found him swimming in the toilet bowl. Fortunately there are two so I used the other rather than risk flushing him away.