An update from Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary: Skinks, Snakes and Storms!

Day 19 – Siobhan here, filling in for Martin now that he’s out of the field and back in Sydney.  On Friday, Christine and I said goodbye to Martin, Adam and Steve, and welcomed Mike Gillings and Andy Beattie to our humble desert demountable.

We’ve really had quite a turnaround in the weather and have been experiencing some of the most spectacular thunderstorms of an evening. It’s pretty weird sitting outside after a hard day’s sampling, cold beer in the hand, watching the heavens open up over the red earth that only a week ago was on fire. Quite the contrast…

Since the rain started and the humidity’s been up, sampling success certainly has been on the increase. So much so that in the last four days we have caught more lizards than in the entire two previous weeks! The elusive Great Desert Skink is elusive no more… and the same can be said for all of the other critters that have started to show themselves – spinifex hopping mice, burrowing frogs, all sorts of crazy inverts, and yesterday we stumbled upon two king brown snakes getting hot and heavy at one of my lizard burrows.  I don’t think the lizards felt comfortable with them hanging around, and four of them promptly ran into my traps for safety (thankyou, king browns).

One more week to go…