Far East Gippsland Herping

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by NickGeee, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. NickGeee

    NickGeee Subscriber Subscriber

    Jan 15, 2013
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    In early January of this year I was lucky to embark on a 6 day trip into far East Gippsland, to partake in the first ever biological survey of Lake Wau Wauka (mainly just looking at fish)!
    The first full day (a Sunday) was spent down at Cape Conran, getting some shots of a possibly new species of Pseudemoia!
    We arrived late arvo on the Saturday, and after it got dark we went to go looking for frogs around a nearby swamp.
    Green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    These threatened frogs are absolutely awesome, and sat out in full view in the grass around the swamp.
    Haswell's frog (Paracrinia haswelli)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    Haswells froglet, tick!.
    The next day was said to be in the high 30's so we headed out at 7 in the morning to try and find the skinks.
    Half an hour of searching revealed next to nothing, so I was pretty excited to find this snake crawling through a shrub!
    White-lipped snake (Drysdalia coronoides)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    After finally finding a skink (although a juvenile) I spotted another snake slithering around the dunes.
    Eastern tiger snake (Notechis scutatus)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    It was already 8:30 but it was getting really hot, so we headed back to camp to pack up. After coming back we finally found some adult skinks!
    Southern grass skink (Pseudemoia cf entrecasteauxii)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    These guys are considered to be Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii, however they look very different from regular entrecasteauxii, and we made an observation that breeding males to not have red up their flanks.
    We headed off to Mallacoota, where we would catch a boat over to lakeview the next morning and begin our 20km hike to Wau Wauka.
    After hiking through a storm we had finally arrived at Lake Wau Wauka around 6 the next Monday. Although it was absolute hell, the vast sand dunes we walked through proved to be spectacular, and was one of the most surreal things I have ever experienced.
    Around camp we saw Tiger Snakes, Red Bellied Black snakes and hundreds of Yellow Bellied Water Skinks.
    We had to wade into the lake in order to collect drinking water, and ended up getting bittern by every single venomous Australian invertebrate imaginable!
    I didnt take too many pics at Wau Wauka, but here is a juvie red belly.
    Red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    On the Wednesday we began hiking out, and when we hit sand again we saw a family of Whites Skink in a large burrow system! I wish I had got photos but my main focus was getting out of the tick infested shrub!
    After climbing what seemed like 40359025792076 sand dunes we came across this view. Worth it? Yes.
    Lake Wau Wauka dunes
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    We camped on the dunes opposite Gabo Island, and after a sleepless night being battered by wind I found afew more White Lipped Snakes, one in some tussocks and one out basking!
    White-lipped snake (Drysdalia coronoides)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    The same day we came across some hikers who were coming back from Lake Barracoota, and offered us a lift since we were 4 hours ahead of schedule!
    We made it back to Mallacoota relatively intact, and had a well deserved pub meal that night!
    However, I was still keen to see one more frog whilst I was there, being the Southern stream frog.
    We drove back onto the Princess and soon we were clambering through a rocky stream.
    After getting peed on by a big female Lesueur's frog and failing to locate a calling male Stream frog, I found this juvie jumping around a mini waterfall.
    Southern stream frog (Litoria nudidigitus)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    And ended the night with this gorg male Lesuers!
    Lesueur's frog (Litoria lesueurii)
    by Nick Gale, on Flickr
    We got back to camp, and after a night spent scoffing museli bars I had probably the best sleep of my life.
    The next day we tried to look for She-oak skinks, but only found afew jackys and more whites skinks.
    More pics in my Flickr album : https://www.flickr.com/photos/127392361@N04/albums/72157679092230255
    Also a quick YouTube vid I whipped up from footage from my GoPro :
    Overall a pretty awesome experience!
    Thanks for looking.
    Oshkii, Stompsy, kankryb and 2 others like this.

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