Southern Brigalow Belt

Recently, a friend of mine from Townsville visited Brisbane. It’s not unreasonable to assume that most friends of mine are also interested in wildlife, and Gus is certainly no exception. We decided to spend a few days out in the brigalow belt to track down some elusive critters, such as Bynoe’s geckos and apostlebirds. Before we went out to the brigalow belt, we spent a night in the mountains looking for bits and pieces. The only interesting bits and pieces we found were some stoney creek frogs (Litoria wilcoxi)

Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi)
Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi) pair in amplexus

Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi)
Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi)

Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi)
Stoney creek frog (Litoria wilcoxi)

Our first stop out west was at Lake Broadwater. The first time I visited the lake in 2006, it was bone dry. Every time I’ve visited it since then, the lake has had water in it. Queensland has obviously received a lot of rain over this last wet season, so I was interested to see how much water the lake had. Short answer: a lot. So much so, the lake has been reopened for swimming and waterskiing. Consequently, we didn’t see much in the way of bird life when we arrived on a Sunday afternoon. The last time I saw the lake it was teeming with ducks and waders, but this time we only managed to see some common species like dusky moorhens in an out-of-the-way corner of the lake. I don’t know if the human activity on the lake had scared the birds away, or if the lake simply wasn’t as vital a resource considering the amount of water that exists across a lot of the state currently. Regardless, we decided to pay the lake another visit on our way back home, which would be a (hopefully) less busy weekday.

We left the lake and continued west. We took some backroads and circuitous routes, and arrived at our destination (a large patch of a remnant cypress community) just before sunset. We killed time for about half an hour, then set off to spotlight for whatever we could. While we didn’t find our main target of a woma (one of three Australian pythons I’m yet to see in the wild), we did see a bunch of other stuff over the next two nights.

Cypress habitat
Cypress community. Habitat for Pseudechis australis, Denisonia devisi, Paradelma orientalis, Aspidites ramsayi

Brigalow scaly-foot (Paradelma orientalis)
Brigalow scaly-foot (Paradelma orientalis), a legless lizard

Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)
Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis). The St George region is well known for its bright red mulga snakes

Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)
Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)

Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)
Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)

De Vis' banded snake (Denisonia devisi)
De Vis’ banded snake (Denisonia devisi)

We decided to spend the third and final night back out at Lake Broadwater. We arrived there during the day, but there was still little in the way of birdlife on the lake. We waited until nightfall and then went spotlighting for frogs and other critters.

Grey snake (Hemiaspis damelii)
Grey snake (Hemiaspis damelii). Reptick for me!

Grey snake (Hemiaspis damelii)
Grey snake (Hemiaspis damelii)

Green-striped burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata)
Green-striped burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata)

Green-striped burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata)
Green-striped burrowing frog (Cyclorana alboguttata). I don’t know how he got that injury on his head. A few of the frogs we saw had scrapes like that.

Salmon-striped frog (Limnodynastes salmini)
Salmon-striped frog (Limnodynastes salmini)

Eastern robust slider (Lerista punctatovittata)
Eastern robust slider (Lerista punctatovittata)

On the way back home, we stopped at some native grasslands to see what we could find.

Southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla)
Southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla)

Southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla)
Southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla)

Southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla)
Southern rainbow-skink (Carlia tetradactyla)

Reptick:
Hemiaspis damelii – lifetime total: 321 Australian reptile species

About Stewart Macdonald

I'm a wildlife ecologist living and working in Queensland, Australia. I spend most of my time in the bush finding and photographing wildlife.
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