Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tony Eales from Australia sent some nice photos of a trip to the desert. His notes are indented:

I don’t think I sent in any photos from my trip to the Australian deserts in June-July last year. I had been out to the Strzelecki and Simpson Deserts for work in May 2015 and found it amazing. So I wanted to show my partner this landscape, however between then and our trip there has been a rarely experienced amount of rain in the dry interior and instead of the stark stony landscape I’d seen we were greeted with horizon to horizon wildflowers.

1may-2015

2july-2016

There were huge flocks of Little Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea) feeding on the seeds produced by all of the greenery.

3corellas

One of the things you notice from the road kill is how few large mammals there are in the desert compared to the huge numbers in the semi-arid mulga on the desert fringe. This Big Red (Macropus rufus) looks at home in the red sunset.

5big-red

I went out spotlighting at night in the sand dunes. The eye-shine from wolf spiders (Lycosidae) is remarkable and makes them easy to find. I’ve never seen one this colour on the coast.

6huntsman

This Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) was (a little bit disturbingly) unconcerned with my presence. I was taking these shots over my shoulder as I backed up to the car. We’re warned to avoid interactions with these wild dogs if you’re alone, as I was.

7dingo

8dingo

11 Comments

  1. darrelle
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Wonderful set of pictures. Is a desert covering wildflower explosion wet season an annual thing in that desert or is it more rare than that?

    The dingo is beautiful. If you didn’t know better you’d want to get to know it.

    • Tony Eales
      Posted February 12, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      I was talking to a local out there who said his father had seen this area in a similar state of greenery in the 1960s. Apparently it will stay this way for a few years, slowly reverting back to the usual stony sandy earth. South Australia is covered in ghost towns from a similar wet period in the mid 1800s. It wa only after many years of dying out that people realised they weren’t in a drought but that this was the usual climate and the green fields that first attracted them were the anomaly

  2. Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Nice shots, thanks! The flowers are amazing. What a landscape.

  3. rickflick
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Nice images. That spider looks pretty dangerous. Dingo is nice. I wonder where they came from originally and how they became feral. Can they be raised from a pup to be domestic?

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures! I am of course drawn to the wolf spider especially. That looked pretty impressive.

  5. Hempenstein
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Greatly relieved to find that we’re not supposed to spot anything in the first two pix.

  6. Dominic
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/03/dingo-special-enough-save

    The dingo is very beautiful…

  7. Mark R.
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Great shots…the red kangaroo was gorgeous.

    So do dingos and domestic dogs ever mate? I imagine if wolves and dogs can then dingos can…and if so, I wonder what specific dingo traits would emerge. I’ve heard that wolf/dog hybrids can be very mean and unpredictable.

    • ratabago
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, they do. The F1 hybrids are also very unpredictable. Anecdotally, a couple of them are amongst the sweetest natured dogs I’ve met. The rest were full blown menaces. I’m not sure to what extent that is the fault of the breed, and how much it is irresponsible owners. You need a special permit to keep dingoes, dingo crosses are illegal in many states.

      • Mark R.
        Posted February 10, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Interesting. Thanks for the info ratabago!

  8. Redlivingblue
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Dingo looks rather well fed…


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