East Gippsland 2018

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by NickGeee, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. NickGeee

    NickGeee Subscriber Subscriber

    Jan 15, 2013
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    Between the 1st and 3rd of January I was luckily enough to embark yet again to Far East Gippsland with my Ecologist mate Dave.
    Last years adventure can be seen here -> https://www.aussiepythons.com/forum/threads/far-east-gippsland-herping.220132/

    The plan on the first night was to cruise tracks around the far eastern extent of Croajingalong in order to search for Death Adders. We camped at the Wallagaraugh river retreat, a surprisingly nice caravan park that has no phone coverage whatsoever... and alpacas? Heading out toward the 4WD tracks, we saw little until about 11 o'clock or so, when we got out of the car to remove this booger off the road.
    [​IMG]Whistling tree frog (Litoria verreauxii) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    As we walked back to the car, Dave spotted a small frog siting in the ditch on the side of the road. Soon we spotted another, and another!
    [​IMG]Dendy's toadlet (Pseudophryne dendyi) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    Dendy's toadlets will only breed during autumn, and even then are rarely observed above leaf litter. Although it was raining lightly this event was really strange.
    [​IMG]Dendy's toadlet (Pseudophryne dendyi) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    These frogs like to walk instead of hopping or jumping, it is actually so adorable.
    [​IMG]Dendy's toadlet (Pseudophryne dendyi) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    We drove on, and saw little again until we arrived at a small creek line sometime after midnight.
    I stumbled around trying to listening to any frogs possibly calling, but the creek seemed dead and stagnating.
    It wasn't until we headed out when we heard the mating cry of a certain green stream frog.
    [​IMG]Southern stream frog (Litoria nudidigita) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Southern stream frog (Litoria nudidigita) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    Other wildlife seen and heard that night included a Platypus, Masked Owls and Owlet-nightjars!
    The next morning was the main event, as we attempted to climb up Howe Hill and spotlight at night for any interesting fauna that may have been out. Alas, our plans went wiry when a thunderstorm came through, meaning we did not make it to Howe Hill. However, we still made it into the heart of the Howe Ranges, and got some pics of an area of Victoria that is still rarely explored. I understand completely why it is however, with no tracks and thick vegetation hampering even the keenest of herpers.
    [​IMG]Howe Range by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    The atmosphere of this place was awesome though, will a fog rolling through on our return.
    [​IMG]Howe Range by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    We began the hike at 10:30ish, and returned to the car at 7:30 with little to show for it, other than mosquito bites.
    However, I was still keen to see one more species of frog that is somewhat reliable around Far East Gippsland, so we drove out to a rocky creek to meet up with some other mates who were down toward Mallacoota. We caught them just as they were leaving the area we intended to go frogging in, but told us that they had seen three individuals of the species we were after.
    With throbbing and blistered feet, we pulled ourselves up the boulders to begin our search. The first 20 or so minutes seemed to be quite unproductive, with call playback met with radio silence. We regrouped and attempted to try the calls again, only to hear a reply 5 metres in font of us. Although this species is beautifully patterned, it still managed to remain quite camouflaged on the rock it was sitting on!
    [​IMG]Blue Mountains tree frog (Litoria citropa) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    We clambered out of the creek, in agreeing that we would both be devastated if we didn't manage to find the frog.
    We got back to camp around 1:30 in the morning, and as I began to doze off to sleep Dave woke me up to tell me he had seen a Bandicoot! I rolled out of my tent and followed Dave up the hill to see a strange little Bilby like creature scurrying around nearby a pack of Kangaroos. I absolutely regret not getting any pictures of the awesome animal, as it let us get quite close! However, I climbed back into my tent to fall into a coma after what had occurred during the last 32 hours.
    I highly recommend East Gippsland to any keen wildlife or nature enthusiast out there, it truly has some stunning views and animals to boot!
  2. Wally

    Wally Subscriber Subscriber Power Seller

    Mar 24, 2010
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    Central Highlands
    Nice one Nick. Glad to see you're still getting out amongst it. It is a great part of the country to have a look around.
    NickGeee likes this.

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