Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trip report: Simpson desert, part 1

Back in April, immediately after handing in my thesis, I bought myself a swag and headed out to the Simpson desert. I was a volunteer on a trip run by the "Dickman Lab" aka the Institute of Wildlife Research at Sydney Uni. This group of researchers carries out a range of ecological studies in the arid zone, from the effects of feral cats and foxes, fire ecology, population dynamics and the effects of grazing. Chris Dickman has been leading research the particular study area that I was visiting in the Simpson for around 20 years.

It was great to see the country change - dry up - flatten out - as we headed out of Sydney, through the mountains and across the western plains. Through Bourke, Cunnamulla, Charleville, Windorah and Bedourie. Lying under the starry sky on the first night, just over the NSW-Queensland border, I could feel the tension of weeks in front of a computer in the city slide off me.

Highlights of the drive:
- first nights under the stars
- Mulga (King brown) snake on the road (above)
- channel country
- Wedge-tailed eagle nest (below)

After two and a half days on the road we had arrived!


Stewart Macdonald said...

Hi David,

How big was the mulga snake? It's hard to get a sense of scale (no pun intended) from the pic. I'm eagerly awaiting pics of the reptiles you guys must have caught out there!


Noelani said...

Interesting to know.