Back in November 2011 whilst we were still living in Brisbane, myself, my girlfriend Kayleigh and two friends from the UK - Matthew Minchin and David Nixon - headed out for a two week herping trip, driving 3,000km west to Windorah, Queensland. We had many target species for this trip, but there was one in particular that we had all our fingers and tossed crossed for - the Inland taipan, Oxyuranus microlepidotus
. Now, its need to be known that on this trip, we were unsuccessful in finding this species, but we were lucky enough to come across many others.
We started out by driving to an area close to Dalby, around 3 hours from Brisbane. After an hours herping in the area, we had already photographed our first few snakes.
Dwyer's snake, Parasuta dwyeri
Spotted black snake, Pseudechis guttatus
We also got this little Lace monitor, Varanus varius
That evening, we continued to drive west and ended up camping in Westmar. During that evenings road cruising, we came across four live eastern brown snakes, Pseudonaja textilis
, crossing the road, along with 8 DOR.
During a short photography session, this is the best one I got.
The next day was short of herps, and we spent much of our time trying to get some miles under our wheels, this time getting as far as Charleville. The most notable find of the day was a juvenile speckled brown snake, Pseudonaja guttata
, but this little elapid disappeared down a hole, just as we were getting our cameras ready - so sadly no photos!
Early one morning, we were driving down the road and spotted a small, dark-coloured lizard sat in the middle of the road. As soon as the car doors were open, the lizard bolted for the nearest tree with us in hot pursuit.
I was roped in to the climb the tree
And we were rewarded with a Freckled monitor, Varanus trisits
A short drive later, and we had another snake species photographed. This adult western brown snake, Pseudonaja mengdeni
, was found crossing the road midday.
Ridiculously common were Central bearded dragons. They littered the sides of the roads for most of the trip.
It wasn't long before we hit the red sands. These are very impressive when seen 'in the flesh' so to speak.
Burn's dragon, Amphibolurus burnsi
We finally made it to Windorah, and continued on for a further 100km west to the Morney plains, home of the Inland taipan. This was where we would be camping for the next 3 days.
The Morney plains. The Inland taipans live down this large cracks in the ground, feeding on plains rats that also inhabit the area.
View from my tent
We got up early each morning and head out searching, both on food and by car for Inland taipans, only giving up when the heat got unbearable. As previously mentioned, our attempts were unsuccessful.
I did managed to catch a Plains rat though. This is the main food source for most snake species that live out on the Morney plains. These rodents were in incredible numbers due to a lot of rain in the previous months.
I think that's enough for now. There are a lot more photos to come, which I shall add in the coming days.