about us

Australia, 2011
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Part I: Arrival and some herping in Ourimbah and the surrounding area
     I, along with my co-author on The Complete Carpet Python Nick Mutton, was able to visit my good friend Peter Birch for a few days after speaking at a symposium in Sydney. Peter was nice enough to show us around some local herp spots for a bit of cool weather herping. Some of the coolest herps were found cruising Peter's back yard, including some leaf-tailed geckos (Phyllurus platurus) and a large land mullet (Egernia major). We also located several funnel-web spiders (Atrax robustus), a juvenile water skink (Eulamprus quoyii), and a small unidentified skink, possibly of the Carlia genus. Pete has left the native vegitation intact in his yard, allowing a welcome resort for various local species.

leaf-tailed geckos

land mullet

funnel web spider

funnel web spider


      Peter and his wife Joanne took us for a drive up into the hills to search for more reptiles. After fruitlessly searching for Angle-headed dragons, we moved further up the slope and were lucky to flip some small elapids, a small-eyed snake (Cryptophis nigrescens) and a swamp snake (Hemiaspis signata) under some nicely placed garbage.  I guess the bright side of idiots throwing their junk on the side of the road in a beautiful setting is that herps can be found underneath.
small eye
Eastern Small-Eyed Snake

small eye
Eastern Small-Eyed Snake

     Unfortunately it was a bit cool for diamond pythons, but we searched through some suitable habitat anyway. More leaf-tailed geckos were found as well as another small-eye and a crazy-looking flat rock spider (Hemicloea major).
  leaftailed geckos

leaftailed geckos

  flat rock spider
       We moved on to another prime herping spot, the local crematorium/graveyard.  Eastern waterdragons (Physignathus lesuerii) lined the banks of a small stream that bisected the graveyard. We also got to play with a large lace monitor (Varanus varius) that didn't seemed to be too worried by our presence.  He knew he was the king of the cemetary!
                water dragon


Wanker shot!
Page 2, On to Darwin!