Darwin to the Kimberly

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by Demansiaphile, Oct 7, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Demansiaphile

    Demansiaphile Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not too long ago, myself and my girlfried, CVHG, umped onto a pressuresed metal tube and flew 2848.54 km / 1538.09 nautical miles to the NT's night life crazy CBD, Darwin.

    We landed at midnight, with boots, camera equipment, a bag full of field guides and a sleeping bag each.

    My best friend, The Driver, met us in the Getaway Vehicle at the pick up zone and we were off... to maccas.

    We slept in the nearest open area away from people and woke up at the crack of dawn. Today our goal was to find a bunch of Frillies because one of us had never seen them before.

    We arrived at our first destination. One minute in and boom. This little fella was sitting on a branch a couple of meters off the ground. He was doing that typical frilly dance around the tree so you could only see his teeny tiny feets. A few minutes later CVHG found one sitting on a fence post basking away.

    [​IMG]Frill Neck Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    This is one myself and the Driver found last time we were in Darwin for a quick weekend.

    [​IMG]Chlamydosaurus kingii by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    We had a bit of a look around and in the corner o my eye i saw a glitter'o'gold hanging out of a branch. It wasnt a reptick by any means but I've always wanted to see a Golden Tree Snake. I used to breed these guys in captivity and owned a few different colour phases. So it was great to see Golden Tree Snakes out in the bush.

    [​IMG]Golden Tree Snake (Dendralaphis punctulata) by J. Kelk, on Flickr


    As it was very early on in the herping season, the window of opportunity was small and leaving us behind. But just before we left a small little dragon was spotted, popping his little stupid head of some spiky bushes. He quickly ran as we walked up to him and jumped under some nearby tin.

    [​IMG]Swamplands lashtail (Amphibolurus/Gowidon temporalis) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    - - - Updated - - -

    Having enough excitement for the morning we decided to get out to the flood plains and see if we could find some varanids. There's a few species up in the Great Northern Land and there was a few we wanted to see specifically. Two species, live under rocks. They can be found by looking for tiny burrows and by being patient sitting at the entrance quietly.

    Walking through the flood plains, surrounded by huge termite mounts the size of small elephants, we saw a little tail duck into a burrow. After what felt like several aeons later this little guy popped his head out of a dirty hole.

    [​IMG]Northern Ridge Tailed Monitor (Varanus primordius) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    Happy we headed to some different habitat, tropical woodlands. We've never really explored this before and again, there was some varanids that needed to be found. What suck was, we only found this dirty whip like snake.

    [​IMG]Olive Whip Snake (Demansia olivacea) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Olive Whip Snake (Demansia olivacea) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Olive Whip Snake (Demansia olivacea) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    Happy'ish we left. Heading straight to the WA border. Driving along with absolutely no near death experiences caused by myself. We came across this huge body of water. We decided to take a peak. Unfortunately, we only came across some crappy endemic species. Oh yer, and someone decided to deface some caves with paintings. I don't know seemed a bit odd to do that in the middle of no where.

    [​IMG]Gehyra koira by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Juno's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus juno) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Rock Paintings, Lake Argyle by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Rock Paintings, Lake Argyle by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    - - - Updated - - -

    A few hundred km later and a bottle of wine later we arrived at a gigantic whole in the ground. Right at the start of The Kimberly. I heard from someone that there's a dodgy rock monitor that hangs around in the crevices nearby.
    Now CVHG, being an avid frog keeper really really really really wanted to see some Magnificent Green Tree Frogs, so after hours of searching crevices not seeing anything but dirty brown frogs to see a smidget of green hiding behind some roots. Hoping desperately to be a Magnificent Green Tree frog. Well to cut the story short. It wasn't

    [​IMG]Green Tree Frog by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    Night was faling upon us. We were excited to see some new reptiles. Something different.
    We started scaling the rock formations nearby and this dude was curled up with the Milky Way behind him!

    [​IMG]Olive Python (Liasis olivaceus) Milky Way by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    Excited we jumped into the car and started road cruising. It wasnt exactly pumping, but we did find something new. Small, albeit new.

    [​IMG]Northern Beaked Gecko (Rhynchoedura sexapora) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    Just as we finished taking photos of this guy we decided to make camp and this guy slithered right past us.

    [​IMG]Furina ornata by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    We also had hundreds of these little insignificant geckos running around.

    [​IMG]Gehyra australis by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    - - - Updated - - -

    Happy that we found a few species we hit the hay.
    Waking from the glare of the sun, I woke everyone up with a "gentle" small voice.

    We decided to walk through the rocky escarpment to see if we could find any animals basking in the morning sun.

    [​IMG]Olive Python (Liasis olivaceus) at the Grotto by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Olive Python (Liasis olivaceus) at the Grotto by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    After that we didnt find much else, so i decided to take some landscape photos.

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Lake Argyle by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]The Grotto Western Australia Secret Stairs by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    - - - Updated - - -

    After that, we were on the road again, back to the airport for our flight in two days time. We had a few pit stops along the way.
    [​IMG]Driving Home by J. Kelk, on Flickr


    Firstly, we hit some rocky hills. I've been walking through similar hills before and really wanted to show CVHG some cool little lizards.
    We hit the hills just as the sun was setting. Our timing was good. The temps were good, the grass was low, so we could see everything.
    In the distance a tiny little lemon coloured smudge went underneath a huge slab of rock. We waited.

    [​IMG]Varanus Baritji Milky Way by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    Running on that high, all three of us went walking through the woods at the base of the hills.
    We found some extremely common geckos, but they all needed their photos taken.

    [​IMG]Zigzag Velvet Gecko (Amalosia rhombifer) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Gehyra nana by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Gehyra nana by J. Kelk, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Burtons Legless Lizard (Lialis burtonis) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    We slept on some rocks. It was comfortable. Sorta.

    The next day after a brilliant sleep we thought we might take the day to get a Subway Sandwich and use the Maccas Wifi. It was our last day and we didnt want to waste it. So, naturally we went to the most known herping spot in the North. Fogg Damn.

    In the midst of chasing locals away form our camera gear and swatting away birders we found a few species. This slightly more attractive cousin of the disgusting Eastern Small Eye.
    [​IMG]Northern small-eyed snake (Cryptophis pallidiceps) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Northern small-eyed snake (Cryptophis pallidiceps) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    And of course how can you go to Fogg and not see a Water Python or several dozen Water Pythons.

    [​IMG]Water Python (Liasis fuscus) by J. Kelk, on Flickr

    After finding those we high tailed it to the airport, covered in dirt, mud (dirts wetter cousin), mozzie bites, musk and BO.
    [​IMG]Fogg Dam by J. Kelk, on Flickr
     
  2. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Lake Macquarie NSW
    You misspelled sexypora
     
  3. Leasdraco

    Leasdraco Guest

    Amazing photos. Thanks for sharing your experience
     
  4. solar 17

    solar 17 Guest

    "great pics" THANKS for sharing. ~B~
     
  5. Vikingtimbo

    Vikingtimbo Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Fantastic pics... and I love reading stories like this one that put an awesome trip like this in a context.

    People might think that it's certain reptiles that make a trip like that dangerous... but no...

    DUDE, don't step that close to the edge of a rocky precipice!!! It made for great pics and everything. But forget the snakes, that's genuinely dangerous!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2014
  6. RoryBreaker

    RoryBreaker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    232
    Location:
    SE QLD
  7. moosenoose

    moosenoose Legendary

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Messages:
    11,003
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Top photography! Love it! :D
     
  8. Demansiaphile

    Demansiaphile Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Haha, funny you should say that. I'm incredibly afraid of heights. So I try and make the most of my surroundings by climbing up and down gorges and cliffs.


    Thanks for the kind replies and also the heads up about the Reptile Report.

    I have a few more trip reports to write up from earlier this year.

    Thanks
    Demansiaphile.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2014
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page