Our neighbouring young studs had been reasonably considerate, although Phil had heard one of them chundering overnight and wondered what he’d been hitting. We’re here for two nights so have the whole, long day to investigate local habitats.
We returned to Seary’s Creek before 08:00 and found it pleasantly free of people. This early start caper is strange; in the UK I wouldn’t dream of hunting dragonflies before about 11:00. Even so it took a little while for the Antipodean dragonflies to warm up but we ended up passing a few hours with Roy wading in the sandy-bottomed river up to his waist and me trying to follow as best I could along the overgrown bank. This is dune slack territory, so-called brown water habitat, or so I’m told, and the species differ a little. We had some success but teh habitat picture is probably of more general interest.
We returned the short distance to the campsite for a relaxing lunch – in common with most European campsites, lunchtime is quiet because everyone else is out for the day – before our afternoon distraction. This was much harder work.
Our objective was Poona Lake. A trail began close to where a permit was needed for motor vehicles but fortunately the start of our trail was within the no permit required zone. We had a 2.1 kms walk there and, of course, a 2.1 kms walk back. Some of the walk in both directions was uphill. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t a long way but, not wanting to leave either my document-containing jacket, or camera bag or laptop in the car, I had to do the walk it laden with those through forest in 30+°C. Suffice to say I was relieved to arrive.
We emerged from the forest ont the shore of a quite large lake. It was surrounding by some beach and quite a lot of impenetrable sharp reeds. One of the targets here was teh so-called Brown-water Skimmer (Orhetrum boumiera) and several males presented themselves almost immediately we arrived. Females were difficult to find but as I was negotiating some of the reeds I spotted one sitting advantageously. Right, happy camper (though not particularly with the campsite).
Roy hung back looking for other quarry while I followed Phil back along the 2.1kms track to the car where we restocked with water and salt. Water is obvious but the salt needed when sweating copiously comes in the form of salted crisps, a.k.a. potato chips. Well, it’s a good excuse to eat junk food.