It poured all night, which made for good sleeping. There was a little pool of water in the tent but nothing serious. By morning the Glibert River was flowing!!
Most of our scientists bunkered down to do some data entry as the rain poured down.
Louise and I joined the botanist Matt and Gerry (both from the Australian Tropical Herbarium) and the new rangers Brendan and Alex. We took the 4W drives and headed to Carson‘s Spring. Several watery creek crossings later we came across a particularly high crossing. Brendan checked the depth and decided we couldn’t cross (that is also the way home!) We turned around (difficult in itself!) and headed to another spring not far from base camp. A beautiful setting with rocky outcrops and tall gums. There was a spring at the base of one of the rocks. Matt found an abundance of fungi on fallen logs, some he had not seen in the park before. It started pouring as we circled the rock scanning for fungi so we headed back to base camp.
Matt found some species recorded for the first time at this park and others he suspect may be new species. Such brilliant finds!!
Back at base camp we helped Susan prepare some dung beetle traps. In other words, we got to play with poo! We rolled a ball of dung into a chux cloth and secured it with wire. These will be set above a pit fall trap to collect dung beetles. There are a number of native species we know little about so this information will help the pool of knowledge about the native dung beetles.
What I have loved seeing is the passion shown for each person’s field. From the Rangers to each Scientist they are always hard at work, either in the field, peering through the microscope, crawling along the ground, beating trees or arranging specimens.
Another walk along the river, this time a very different river. Full of water and racing along heading for the Gulf.
Just when you think the day is over, Will and Heather returned with an Owlet Nightjar. He weighed it in a pillow case (then weighed the pillow case) to find its weight, took measurements then sampled some blood. One sample went onto a slide to scan for avian flu and another sample is going to be scanned for the bird’s DNA.
What a finish to the day!