Fieldwork can be hard and repetitive, sometimes even tedious. The Great Poo Hunt had the potential to become that way, walking many kilometres day after day, often in beautiful places but staring intently at the floor. Fortunately, I was lucky during this trip: every day I have found something new to wonder at - apart from all the poo of course! Some examples:
Not the best photograph (compact camera only on this trip) but spot the southern brown bandicoot in the centre of the image, going about it's business in the middle of the day. We watched for a while and it didn't seem to care we were there. That was a treat!
One particularly wet and miserable day we surveyed a vegetable farm, bleak and muddy with no protection from the wind. The consolation prize was many many little tiny Crinea frogs around the farm dam :)
Pelican footprints in the sand! They are huge! I have seen many a pelican before, but never their footprints.
One day I chanced upon a writhing blob that turned out not to be a scat (fortunately) but was instead these three Pseudemoia (species?) skinks: as best I could tell I watched two males wrestle with / over a female. Eventually one male let go and ran away, the victor then dragged the female into the leaf litter. I think I am glad I am not a skink!
Invertebrate diversity was amazing, but mostly too fast for the little compact camera I had with me for this trip. This very cool spider (near Hobart) was kind enough to pose, so will have to represent the many other kinds of spiders, mites, grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies etc. I encountered.
Last but not least, one site we visited was rich in Permian mudstone (I think, I hope I have that right!) and almost every rock on the hillside was full of these wonderful fossils. If I hadn't been looking for scats I could have spent hours just wondering at these...
I'm a biologist with interests in genetics, conservation, ecology, invasive species, and wildlife management.
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