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Field Trip Update 2

We're nearly home, but have seen some fantastic wildlife in the meantime...

Travelling north has certainly opened my eyes as to just how much species diversify towards the tropics. And we barely passed Brisbane.

We spent some time at Australia Zoo, both as visitors (with my family) and as a volunteer (on my own), resulting in some great photos of both their animals, and wild animals on their grounds. In particular, finding a blue common tree python catching a red-eyed tree frog has been a highlight, and I will have several great closeup photos coming out of that.

Another new critter for me is the rhinoceros beetle - these guys are huge and buzz, or hiss at you when you pick them up. Absolutely gorgeous bugs though. I've found a couple of these, one of them absolutely enormous. He stood on his hind legs, waving his front four legs menacingly at me - he looks like a mini alien on my hand.

These past few days I have been catching cicadas and photographing them. It looks like we'll track back to where I'm hoping to find Australia's largest, as yet undescribed cicada - but we have to be really lucky with timing - both in terms of the season, but also which year they emerge from "nymph mode" (the ground).

Yesterday I also caught a fleeting glimpse of the Azure kingfisher as it scooted over a river and around my spot on a jetty. Unfortunately I didn't capture a photograph, but it was beautiful to see.

Another highlight has been finally using a spotlight to locate wildlife at night. In particular I've learned just how prevalent the cane toad is in northern New South Wales and south east Queensland, but I've also found green tree frogs, possums, and countless spiders this way.

Lastly, there have been numerous skink sightings and photographs, many of them not in my book on reptiles of the Sydney region. These will be something new for me to research when I get back and have the chance.

Thanks to all who have been reading the articles here in my absence, and now picking up a lively discussion (particularly on the Doyle article); also to those who are voting in the homepage poll.

I look forward to returning and kicking back into gear... although there is still that book chapter to write too! Ah. So much to do, so little time!

Cheers,

Chris.

TIP: If a longer article is available, then the title here will be a link.

Posted by: admin on 18th Jan 2007 04:02 PM
Updated by: admin on 18th Jan 2007 04:02 PM

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