My naturalist buddy Jimmy and I planned to come out herping just before Christmas on the really hot 38°C day. Hot days mean warm nights and this can mean the herps are more active into the evening. It was also moonless so we hoped that would help us see more.
We headed up to Canning Dam – our primary target Southern Death Adder – Jimmy has been looking for them for a number of years with no luck as they are really hard to find. They tend to sit in leaf litter motionless just waiting for an unlucky prey item to come past – the warm nights can bring them onto the road to be found. Jimmy had checked it out the night before with no luck but had found a roadkilled one a couple of weeks before – so we know we are in the right spot.
We brought our bikes as the Water Corporation block off access at night – this allowed us to cover plenty of ground.
Our first wildlife was an inquisitive Tawny Frogmouth that checked us out.
We then found our first of what was to be many – Barking Gecko. They get their name from their behaviour when threatened – they arch their backss and bark quite loudly. They have real character and are beautifully marked.
Just across the road from the Barking Gecko, Jimmy spotted another gecko – which after a closer inspection was a Clawless Gecko – Australia’s smallest species. This one was only 4-5cms long and beautifully coloured.
We found plenty more Barking Gecko but they weren’t that obliging for photos! They are the biggest geckos that I have seen.
We looked carefully on a granite outcrop where Jimmy had seen a good sized Carpet Python the night before – sadly not there tonight. Our night was snakeless – shame…
We did hear a few White-striped Freetail Bats – they are audible with the human ear and often heard.
Towards the end of out travels we crossed over the river that comes from the dam and there were plenty of frogs – Motorbike, Slender Tree and probably a Moaning Frog.
All in all a great night with two new geckos for me but a distinct lack of snakes – well we will just have to do another trip!
On the way home I took some shots of a roadkilled 2D rabbit and bobtail.