Perth - Scott River April 1962.
W. D. L. Ride, W. H. Butler together with children Jim & Edwin Ride (aged 6 & 8 years) and Trevor Butler. A large fossil egg reported to be at Darradup and seen by Butler a few weeks before Easter. Trip to see egg and see place (at Scott River) where it was collected.
> 22nd April 1962
Left Nedlands for Bayswater to pick up Harry and Trevor (age 10). Filled up all tanks at Armadale, Mt. William E. of Waroona, turned off main road and camped for night, started to rain and children had first experience of bush living by sleeping on a wet night. Kept remarkably dry in their bedding. Kangaroo shooters spotlighting during the night.
> 23rd April 1962
Dried out bedding and started off. Nannup lunch in cafe. Turned south along Brockman Highway, Augusta Rd S. west to Darradup.
Saw and photographed the egg in colour and b&w, a fantastic thing. Perfect, slightly eroded, closest thing to Aepyornis egg I have ever seen! belongs to Vic Roberts, a brother of W. J.(Jim) Roberts who is photographed with the egg. Jim Roberts says that he also found a skull with it. Jim Roberts agreed to take us to the beach where Vic Roberts is camped. Roberts gave the unsen(?) worms, Pale lot from near old Flinders Bay jetty. In salt water ((or fresh water soak) at sea edge growing under rotten banks of sea weed. Blue Lot, edge of Black River Darradup. Back to Brockman Highway from Roberts' farm.
Turn off B.H. southwards to cut Stewart Highway. Jarrah "Water-tree" on side of road, pointed out by Jim Roberts : hollow tree which holds water like a well, probably an old aboriginal water-tree. Stockyard. Native well just before it (called canegrass stockyard). Trevor collected small crustacea (jilgie-sized, Butler calls them "Blue marron") also Rhodona [lizard?]. Crosses Stewart Hwy before Canebreak well and then a complicated set of tracks & gates to Vic Roberts' place (Sussex loc. 1335) approx. 2 miles inland from beach.
Went spotlighting, collected 2 small Pseudophrynes. Butler shot Grey Kangaroo, skin & skull collected Butler & Ride WR87, shot by Butler in flat country dense scrub about waist high, banks of Scott R., true Grey not "Black-faced". Back to camp for night, Vic not yet back from Augusta.
> 24th April 1962
Vic came home immediately after breakfast. Drove to Egg locality in the beach east of the fence-line between Sussex lot 449 (Dunnet's) and Sussex loc. 735 (Lindsay's) where it comes down to the beach. The Egg was found 320* east of the fence at the foot of an eroded "cliff face" in the stabilised dune system. The blowout has now extended back widening the beach on which the egg was exposed and lowering it to a lower point which seems to be on an old soil or swamp earth surface.
Discussed find with Vic.
The egg was found in 1930 or 1931 by Victor C. Roberts in the company of Chris Marris and David Shanks. The egg was fully exposed and completely filled with sand. Vic slightly enlarged a hole in eroded face and poured out the sand. Vic seems to remember that the sand also contained fragments of "egg membrane" or tissue-like (my words) material which he thinks may have sealed off the inside of the shell.
At the same time (?same year) the skull was found by Jim about 200* E again of the egg. This was said to be like a dolphin. Skull which Jim Roberts saw is said by Roberts to have had tooth holes.
[Vic Robert's address is V. C. Roberts, Scott River via Augusta, W.A.]
Examined locality carefully and collected shells, corals etc from bed in bottom of blown out valley. Collected samples of Grey soil or marl level at base of system with Bulinus like gastropods. Found a badly eroded skeleton (found by Butler & Vic) on the beach at about the same level on which the egg lay. Also collected Setonix jaws, Isoodon, Dasyurus, Rabbit, Whale cetolith vertebrae from blowouts. [Sketch of beach] fence lines shows clearly. Vic agreed to lend egg to museum. Back to Roberts place. Collected frogs from well alive for Bert Main.
Scott R. stopped and netted in pools E of bridge. Atherines, Bostockia, Pygmy Perch, Galaxias (Banded, White striped), Gobies. Stopped at small series of runnels in jarrah ironstone country just north of he Scott R. plains (called "the ironstone" - water gives trots, cannot be drunk).
Yards Canebreak, Stewart Hwy, Brockman Hwy, Roberts' farm Darradup, stayed for tea. Talked about egg and shell. Mrs Roberts and Jim both support Vic's story that the Museum, Maj. Whittell and Col. LeSouef all talk about egg. Glauert sent photo vividly described with wedge-tailed eagle - dead in background. Apparently no one showed any interest and Vic decided not to send egg to museum so kept it at farmhouse.
Put children to sleep in back of vehicle, drove back to Perth.
Trip Perth - Scott River.
Ride & Merrilees
To obtain further data on egg loc., further species, bore auger hole in marl, measure localities, sieve for frontals of H. sapiens.
See Roberts & get further evidence of stories of finding & subsequent actions.
> 9 May 1962
Left Perth Nedlands, Nannup, Roberts' turn off. Mrs Roberts & Jim at home. Appears that Butler, Hammond & Edwards (newspapermen) had just left for Perth with photo originally shown to Glauert in 1931. They had taken Jim to Scott R. to look for Vic. Vic not there - at Capel - and they had searched for fossils, found some more H. sapiens and left for Perth. Had lunch with the Roberts. It seems that they probably had not written to Glauert but their daughter had taken the snap into the museum and Glauert had said that it was probably an Aepyornis egg. Whittell was not told of it until "after 1940" when Vic was away. Whittell made no move to come and see it. The skull was drawn on the blackboard for Col. Lesouef who had decided that it was Dolphin. He displayed no interest in the egg. Duncan took notes. Mrs Roberts also told of a meteorite which had fallen at Greenbushes. Mrs Roberts is also a sister of Bob Royce's mother. Each time I see the Roberts I like them more. Gave Mrs Roberts a copy of one of the Ektachrome's of Jim and the Egg.
Drove on down to Scott R. [map440/80] turned off Brockman hwy, Canebreak yards, Scott R. bridge [map441/80], karri isolates at Wilgeaannup swamp. arrived Roberts camp - not at home, left him a note which explains what we are up to and will (perhaps) conteract a v. unwise note left for him by Butler asking who at the University was told about the egg. Drove down to the beach where showed Duncan around the locality. Collected a few shells, made camp for the night and will probably try to find Vic at Darrel Dunkley's, Cliff Kearney's if not here by tomorrow afternoon.
> 10 May 1962
Took landrover to fenceline between locs. 448 & 735. Walked down to egg location & took photos, from sea level across to H. sap. site, 10 shots a pan view, the first repeated and then one again at end. P no X at 160 ASA, first repeat at 80 ASA and at end of 160 but done because Duncan unable to remember if he had hands at the ends. So the metre rule. 2nd time sock put into egg marker, and water bottle on top of tripod on top of 1st line of dunes.
[Sketch of site on next page].
Auger hole at loc. 4 struck grey silty liquid at 4 f/t 8 (with Bulinus?) specimens collected for pollen and also gastropods selected from sample Log of auger hole loc.4 100ft east of H. sapiens:
4'8'' Dark grey with silty, coheres when squashed, contains gasteropods, sample for pollen and micro fossils from bottom.
5'4'' light grey sandier without macrofossils, less adherent
5'11" lighter grey still about same adherent qualities as interval above, light brown ironstaining in patches, no macrofossils, sample taken for pollen from bottom .
6'6" Slightly grey sand with appearance of beach sand, some traces of iron, no large beach fossils (larger than general grain size).
7'1" Beach sand as above but now usual beach colour also at 7'8".
8'3" Usual beach colour but slight grey patches, collected sample
8'10" Fine yellow sand very wet but grain size small & samples adhere.
10' Last sample too much water, measured interval - 7'10" apply correction factor, measured at 5' subsequent 5' of calculated intervals over 5' actually measure 3' i.e. each interval over 5' should be decreased by 3/5.
* Took bearings on the top of auger hole 4, from point 4 inches? above sea level, , calculate ht of grey soil in hole 4 to be 3.3' above sea level i e surface 8' above sea level.
Auger hole loc. 41 ; distance from 4 towards sea = 40 '
Log: 0-3' sand
3'to4'8" grey sequence. ironstaining came in at 4', no fossils recovered
4'8" below, sand yellow.
Auger hole 411
Distance from 4 away from sea=10'
0-7' beach sand
7' grey flecks
8'6"grey soil horizon, spec collected.
Auger hole 4111
Distance from 4 away from sea = 80'
>0-10' beach sand, grey flecks towards bottom
Walked on to locs. 7 & 8, collected fossil gastropods from both, These seem to be the same horizon and the auger hole soil to lie below them, if so H.
sap. comes from between these soils and probably the egg does as well. Walked over to 6, picked up some float, cannot be sure if 6 is a continuation of a fossil soil exposed in the face to the east of it.
Heights of beach at various auger holes: 4111- being zero metres = 0.
4 = - 6'9"
Left beach ... back to camp, had meal & packed up vehicle, left camp.