As is typical of the dry season in the Northern Territory, there are usually fires visible in the distance; currently there are large fires to both the north and south of the property. This week IRESers were able to help out with a controlled burn on Richard’s property by lighting the grass with a drip torch while Richard monitored the burn in the water ute.
After a week of getting to know the field site and learning the ropes (including introductions to telemetry, using GPSes, finding birds, etc.) the students are getting into their projects. We also had a BBQ at the airstrip with locals where the students were introduced to the Ozzie game of bush skittles.
In other news, we caught three fledglings this morning–evidence of some successful breeding during the wet season!
To start off the 2014 IRESers adventure in the top end, we spent some time in Darwin getting over jet lag and exploring the city. Highlights included trips to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market,the Darwin Botanical Gardens, East Point Reserve, and the Northern Territory Museum. We also took a day trip to the Territory Wildlife Park to see wildlife of the top end (and pet a wallaby), followed by a quick swim at Berry Springs. PIs John and Jordan are arriving shortly and the students are getting ramped up for field work.