Outback NSW

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by greeny1, Oct 7, 2013.

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  1. greeny1

    greeny1 Well-Known Member

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    Recently I had the chance to head out to far western NSW for 2 weeks on a family holiday with my mum and dad and with a few suggestions of places to go to I managed to fill in a fair bit of herping in that time. Unfortunately the weather wasn't always in our favor with many windy days and cool temps overnight.


    The first night we spent at Narromine where temperatures were too cold to herp. The next day we headed to Mutawintji National Park and on the road into the park we saw Central Bearded Dragons and Shinglebacks which I didn't stop to photography. The next find was this Sand Monitor varanus gouldii which crossed the road and I managed this quick shot before it went down its burrow.
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    Sand Monitor (varanus gouldii) by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr




    I also stopped to photograph this pair of Shinglebacks which were crossing the entrance road to the park.
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    Shingleback Skinks by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    One of the shinglebacks
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    Shingleback by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    We set up camp that afternoon in Mutawintji National Park and after dinner I started night driving the roads around the park, without seeing anything I decided to pull over and start walking for geckos in an areas I thought looked promising. After about 15 minutes I managed to find 6 geckos which were 3 Beaded Geckos, 2 Box Pattern Geckos and a Beaked Gecko.
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    Beaded Gecko by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Box Pattern Gecko by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Beaded Gecko by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Beaked Gecko by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    The following morning we went to Mutawintji Gorge walk and on driving to the start of the walking trail we found this Sand Monitor
    [​IMG]
    Sand Monitor by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    On the walk itself we managed to find a few small skinks which I failed to catch or identify as I have minimal interest in these animals. We then found 2 Tawny Rock Dragons as we began entering the gorge which were active basking on the dry, rocky creek bed.
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    Tawny Dragon by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Tawny Dragon by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    Habitat shot of Mutawintji Gorge
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    Mutawintji Gorge by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    On the drive back to camp form Mutawintji Gorge we stopped for a small dragon I spotted which I presume was another Tawny Dragon and once stopped mum spotted this Sand Monitor just coming out of its burrow.
    [​IMG]
    Sand Monitor by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    That night I went looking for Knob Tailed Geckos as they were a major target on the trip and had heard of others finding them in the park previously. Unfortunately I had no luck even though weather conditions seemed fine. I only managed to find this Variegated Dtella and a blind snake (Ramphotyphlops endoterus) which I lost patience for trying to photograph.
    [​IMG]
    Common Dtella by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    The next day we did the Bynguano Ranges walk which did a large loop through some gorges and over the top of some. I was hoping to see some Black Headed Monitors or Centralian Ranges Rock Skinks but again failed to find these species. The only species being found were some Tree Skinks and Tawny Dragons.
    In habitat:
    [​IMG]
    Tawny Dragon by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    That afternoon we went for a drive outside the park in hope of seeing a Mulga or Strap Snouted Brown Snake crossing the road, we only managed to spot some Central Netted Dragons basking on the site of the road which escaped before I got any photos and some Central Bearded Dragons.
    [​IMG]
    Central Bearded Dragon by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    That night we did a large walk hoping for Stimson's Pythons in one of the gorges at the beginning of the Bynuano Ranges walk. I only managed to find Bynoes Geckos and Variegated Dtellas which I couldn't be bothered getting my camera gear out for. We ended up at a small rock pool where there were two Green Tree Frogs and heaps of Desert Tree Frogs. I only bothered to take photos of one of the Green Tree Frogs.
    [​IMG]
    Green Tree Frog by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    The next morning we headed off towards Broken Hill seeing heaps of Shinglebacks often in pairs and Bearded Dragons crossing the road. We ended up staying at a spot around 50km outside of Broken Hill and that afternoon we went for a drive and short walk into a gorge at this location. We managed another Tawny Dragon which wouldnt allow me to get close and a Tree Skink which quickly hid down a rock crevice.
    [​IMG]
    Tawny Dragon by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    That night I spent 3 hours walking through the same gorge which is pictured below, eventually I found a Stimon's Python which I was very excited to see.
    [​IMG]
    Stimson's Python habitat by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Stimson's Python by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Stimson's Python by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    The next morning we went back into Broken Hill and found a Strap Snouted Brown Snake basking on the road which I automatically tried to catch for decent photos and failed which I still kick myself over. It was only a fairly standard one with a slight black marking behind the neck but still a tick for me. The rest of the day we had to do tourist things in town to keep mum happy and then a cool change came through that afternoon so I didn't bother going night herping.


    We then headed up to Sturt National Park and stayed at Fort Grey campground which is close to Cameron Corner. That afternoon I went for a walk on the sand dune behind camp and found this shingleback right near the camper trailer.
    [​IMG]
    Shingleback by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    In habitat showing the fence of the campground..
    [​IMG]
    Shingleback by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    That night I went for another walk on the sand dune hoping for Knob Tailed Geckos and only managed this gecko which I think is a Beaded Gecko.
    [​IMG]
    Beaded Gecko by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    The next day we went to Cameron Corner and played the tri state golf and had a drink at the "Corner Store". Unfortunately we didnt manage any reptiles active between there and the camp and once we got back to camp I went for another walk around sand dune habitat and only found a few ctenotous skinks which I failed to photograph again. That night we went for a night drive towards Cameron Corner again and stopped for a while to walk on a different sand dune again hoping for Knobbies which I failed to find again.. and instead managed to get lost by myself and ended up on the Queensland fence line.


    From there we headed east to Tibooburra and did some herping in Sturt National Park just north of Tibooburra. On the way across we stopped for roughly 6 Wedge Tailed Eagles all feeding on the same kangaroo carcass. Unfortunately most flew away when I got out of the car but I managed to get really close to one who even continued feeding in my presence.
    [​IMG]
    Wedge Tailed Eagle feeding by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr

    We managed to find Gidgee Skinks in Sturt National Park and at Tiboburra itself. Most are only found like this pair:
    [​IMG]
    Gidgee Skinks by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    Fortunately I managed to carefully get one out of its crevice for decent photos.
    [​IMG]
    Gidgee Skink by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Gidgee Skink by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    We also headed out the "Jump Ups" in Sturt National Park and found many Earless Dragons on the side of the road. I only managed this half decent photo of what I believe to be T. tetraporophora
    [​IMG]
    Eyrean Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis tetraporophora) by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    We also got this Gidgee Skink in situ at the Jump Ups as well as a juvenile which I didnt manage to photograph well enough.
    [​IMG]
    Gidgee Skink by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    The following day we did more driving around the far eastern side of the park and managed to photograph this earless dragon which with help in identifying today I am leaning towards T. intima
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    Eyrean Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis tetraporophora) by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    Another T. tetraporophora
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    Smooth-snouted Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis intima) by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    A particularly nice shingleback I found flipping tin whilst looking for saltbush slender blue tongues.
    [​IMG]
    Shingleback by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    With a not so nice attitude..
    [​IMG]
    Shingleback by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    A fairly yellow Sand Monitor which was sitting in a creek bed
    [​IMG]
    Sand Monitor by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    And a Central Bearded Dragon I bothered to photograph
    [​IMG]
    Central Bearded Dragon by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    After losing out headlights with an electrical problem in the car we were unable to do any night driving at Tibooburra so I decided to walk through the town and about 2km out towards the national park where I managed to find two Curl Snakes
    [​IMG]
    Curl Snake by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    [​IMG]
    Curl Snake by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    The next day we headed back towards Broken Hill with a quick stop out towards Milparinka where we found this recently hit Murray Darling Carpet Python. It was still alive when we found it but curled up on the road which is always a bad sign. I picked it up and it was very limp and it then started vomitting blood where I then decided to put it out of its misery. Photos don't do this snake justice as it would've been around 7ft long and its colours would put a lot of captives to shame!
    [​IMG]
    D.O.R Murray Darling Carpet Python by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    Back around Broken Hill we stayed at the caravan park in the town itself and a really bad cold change had set in for the next few days. We still went for a short drive towards Silverton and found a couple of shinglebacks and this Earless Dragon (T. tetraporophora)
    [​IMG]
    Eyrean Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis tetraporophora) by Mark_Green_13, on Flickr


    From there the trip was basically over and with cold weather setting in out west and we only managed to see a few Central Bearded Dragons and Shinglebacks on the sides of the road heading home.


    Thanks for looking and using up all your megabytes. Mark.
     
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  2. swampie

    swampie Power Seller Power Seller

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    Nice photo's Greeny, sounds like it was a great trip. Love the stimi and that Murray is a stunner, shame it was hit by a car and had to by put down.
     
  3. Wild~Touch

    Wild~Touch Very Well-Known Member

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    Great pics and thank you for sharing

    Cheers
    Sandee :)
     
  4. ozziepythons

    ozziepythons Well-Known Member

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    Best thread I've seen in ages, top quality photography and fantastic to see some habitat shots included. Standouts to me were the green tree frog, stimsons python and Murray Darling carpet python, sorry to read that beautiful carpet was at the end of its life. Really love the field herping threads and this was a great addition, western NSW is amazing. Well done Mark.
     
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  5. sharky

    sharky Very Well-Known Member

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    100% agreed! Absolutely enjoyed 'ooh-ing' and 'ahh-ing' through all of the sunning pictures.

    My hat off to you Mark, well done :)
     
  6. greeny1

    greeny1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the positive feedback guys! I didn't think I did that well considering the area I was in and the time I was out there for but haha.
     
  7. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    Great photos, Mark. That is an interesting area within NSW. Loved the shots of the Tawny Dragon at Mutawintji. The Gidgees were also very nice. Your first Curl Snake looked so odd with that dorsal stripe. I seen lots of these but don't recall any that had a pattern like that. Too bad about that injured python. It was beautifully coloured.

    Regards,
    David
     
  8. greeny1

    greeny1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks David, I personally found the Tawny Dragons near Broken Hill much nicer coloured than the ones at Mutawintji but we only had limited good weather there and I didn't get close enough to most of them for decent photos. The first curl snake was only a small juvenile so perhaps that made a difference with the pattern? I thought it was kind of cool for a curl snake as well haha.
    Thanks Mark.
     
  9. Zipidee

    Zipidee Active Member

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    Outstanding pics Mark. That WNSW Stimmy is a beauty.
     
  10. cheekabee

    cheekabee Well-Known Member

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    Wow, nice shots
     
  11. KingsReptiles

    KingsReptiles Active Member

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    wow amazing pics
     
  12. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    This thread seriously makes you wanna fire the camera up! Awesome photos. For me, chasing turtles means I have to don the wet-suit, mask and fins.

    It's pretty awesome when you and a best mate get Lake McKenzie all to yourself.
    Kev 1.jpg
    Some underwater habitat shots in the lake.
    P1000064.JPG P1000065.JPG P1000067.JPG P1000068.JPG
    Fraser Island expansa
    P1000017.JPG P1000031.JPG P1000162.JPG
     
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