Our first field trip for the beginning of the descriptive sampling set that will form the spine of my PhD.
On this trip we visited 10 springs that will be sampled every season for the next year. In this sampling, I am looking to build a large associational dataset whereby a number of spots are sampled across the whole spring, within which we have information about the physical factors and the abundance of my six focal species of endemic snail.
One of the highlights of this trip was spending a lot of time in the springs at night time. So many animals you never see in the day are out and about once it gets dark. It’s the best time to see the larger more mobile animals like frogs and large predatory insects, as well as the fabled ‘green highlighter leech’ and the Edgbaston Goby (another endemic fish on Edgbaston apart from the more famed Red-finned Blue-eye).
There’s quite a lot of Ptylotus around the rocky uplands at Edgbaston. It’s one of my favourites.
Practicing their botany skills.
A lot of beautiful invertebrates live AROUND the springs too.
Sunsets are an integral part of a good day in the field.
The view from the ridge line is one of the best.
Spring is also a great time for insects! Taking a night time stroll through the springs is the best way to see huge array of things that live in and around them.
A lot of frogs are only visible around the springs at night, spending the daylight hours burrowed in the vegetation or sediment.
Wolf spiders are another group of organisms that have a large number of species associated with springs. Check out this cutie carrying around its young on its’ back.
I wouldn’t want to run into this guy if I was small and in the dark…
Look at his dorky little face!
At sunset, the Mitchell grass lights up and a lot of the animals start wandering around.
The old pens and truck at the homestead.
Campfires are one of the best parts of fieldwork!
If it gets too windy, too wet or too hot you can always ‘glamp’ at the wool shed.
A regular at the old wool shed.
Big artificial lights bring in all the best bugs.
Lights also bring in the geckos!
I’m starting to try and get a catalogue together of all the frogs of Edgbaston. Help with ID’s would be greatly appreciated.
More great frogs!
New vents pop up all the time and often you can’t see them from the surface topography. This is what happens when you step in one.
The uplands on Edgbaston are a completely different landscape.
This is SW60, one of my monitored springs. The dragonflies here are just CRAZY!
This pair was mating and ovipositing the whole time we were working!
This Katydid became our field companion for the rest of the day.
Big spring is one of the largest in the complex, spanning 100’s of meters. At its deepest, its the only one you can “swim” in (i.e. wallow around in foot deep water).
The vent at Big spring spits out water at a phenomenal rate. You can actually watch it bubbling up to the surface all the way from the G.A.B.
The last day is always the saddest.
Thanks to Sasha Jooste and Flynn Rush for their help in the field.