Depuch - Dampier Archipelago May June 1962
For some time there had been strong rumours (which the Govt. denied) that Depuch was to be developed as a deepwater port for Pilbara. Finally, with the almost certain development of the Mt. Goldsworthy iron ore deposits announced the govt. made it clear that proposals were extant for the development of the island. As soon as this was announced, all Western Australian naturalists, Anthrop., Royal Societies screamed loud. So did the Anthrop. list of various members of federal govt., overseas and Australian museums. Finally the W.A.M. offered its services to carry out a survey of the island and this the Govt. gratefully accepted (!). Lewis (Minister for Education and Native Welfare) also asked that Berndt should go as well. This determined the date of the survey because Ron & Catherine were only available in vac. and thus for 14 days from the 25th. The party was therefore scheduled to leave Perth on the first available plane (MMA DC1) after that date & thus arrive in Roebourne on 26th pm. Arrangements for boats etc proved difficult at a distance & so Ride had to go up as soon as possible. Norton was offered a free passage and Ride & Norton scheduled to leave as soon as possible ie
> Sunday 20th May.
Equipment: All kit possible sent up to Mrs Bell at Roebourne Hotel, Ride & Norton in Landrover with trailer. [Details of arrangements & kit]
> 20th May 1962 - Sunday
Through to Geraldton, Norton not interested to see examples of the effect that underlying geological stresses have on nature of the country (!) Murchison Bridge - old camp site used by us in previous northern trips.
> 21 May 1962 Monday
Murchison Bridge, a beautiful clear morning, a great change from the rain & wind of yesterday in Perth, Fred helping with breakfast, Murchison with plenty of water. Sandplain, probably Eurardy Stn, stopped to look at roo dead on road, Frank did brief sketch. For last few miles nodules of rock on surface, appears to be calcareous, Cretaceous schists with an oxidized brown crust, laminated. No. 3 Tank, the Overlander : 125 miles to Carnarvon. Found out that Hall is owner of Wooramel, Richardson is overseer, Hall lives on station.
Water lying on surface, muddy swamp, Dedus, Herons and longlegged black & white (?) stilts. A few artifacts on surface collected. Appears to be real flint here and erosion into a fine powdery glauconitic-like deposit. Collected Rhaggada plentiful on the surface. Telephone line crosses the road at this point. Stopped where breakeras(?) cross the road. Lunch. Yaringa Hstead turnoff.
Wooramel Homestead, met Hall who knew nothing about bone (fossil) presented to the museum many years ago. Promised to ask his natives and I said I would call back on way south in 3 or 4 weeks. He gave me the name of Elaine Parsons' husband - Greg Campbell, Bullagaroo.
Carnarvon. Shopped in town & then to Babbage Hotel to find R.E. (Ron) Cooper.
Babbage Island. Cooper left 2 years ago !! Had a look, "no fishin" too rough, operating 3 chasers.
Cooralya turnoff. Reds plentiful, also one Odestriptyai (?).
Overshot Boologooro. Yallobia, Keith Masters, few Notomys & mice on road, Bullagaroo, Greg and Elaine Campbell, stayed night !
> 22 May. 62 Tuesday
Greg Campbell told of cave with carvings (or paintings) on Mia Mia, Moogooloo Hill (Boologooro?). Mice plentiful and came into the house, Kangaroo mice also common. Alan Mitchell 1/2 native stockman came from Port Hedland when young, knows the Moogaloo cavings. On the hill many of them : Stick men, turtles, dugongs, blue-tongued lizards, kangaroos. No hands. Cave E of Moogaloo windmill. Aeroplane drawn in rock charcoal. Alec MacDonald (N.W. Rep of MLC - building with the beacon) he has filmed the cavings. Colin McKenna of Mia Mia also has films. Porcupines in sandhills, hill called Porcupine Hill. Went down to shearing shed where white owl is said to camp, collected pellets - four were in water end broken up - all seem to contain Notymus, 2 dry not broken up, last one in shearing shed, remainder in Ablutions. Trapped two in food store: Mus musculus WR88. Wandagee (?) turnoff.
Drove into Onslow, met Mr R. F. LeGrand of Utah Construction and Engineering Pty Ltd. He is on his way to Goldsworthy and reckons to be back in Balla Balla in 3 weeks. There is a lugger in Onslow lying idle, owned by S.W. Clark, Forrest Ave., Bunbury, Bunbury 3333. Went into hotel, met Carpentaria Exploration team from Mt. Isa, Johnny Abbott and Chris Leach who tell of Ron Langridge of Turkey Ck. - no police station, he acts as postmaster actually PMG linesman. They ask to be remembered. Also described a meteorite impact site on Warrawagine Stn, present manager knows locality.
Left Onslow after dark and drove towards Mardie, crossed Robe River, camped in spinifex and grass plain. Found trapdoor spider - will dig out in morning, trapdoor concealed by ironstone pebble, ducked down the trapdoor when I approached, did not pull trapdoor to, marked and will leave until morning.
> 23rd May 1962 - Wednesday
Photos of campsite, Trapdoor spider burrow.
Trapdoor open at sunrise, closed about 1 hr later, spider holding lid on burrow, unable to open with stick, dug out burrow, depth of burrow 16cm., spider a pale brown, burrow not lined with silk but trapdoor held down with silk, collected door and top of burrow.
Robt. Sharpe at Balmoral Woolshed (shearing) says Kent Lockyer (Dogger) has a fine set of carvings up at the Fortescue, shown by Lockyer to John Coten who now works in Warrawagine. These are said to be excellent figures of corroboree scenes not just doodling. Sharp says they have large numbers of native cats on the property. These appeared about 4-5 years ago, t...chs not known to natives who said that they used to occur vicinity of Deepdale on the upper Robe - Lockyer did not know of them either. The little red marsupial is also plentiful - shiny like the head of a redheaded girl. Fat tailed, teats all from a single udder like a cow.
Left Balmoral, entered flank of Hamersley Range, Frank stopped to sketch outline of (?) Mt. Wilkie - very black, looks like burnt spinifex.
Drove to Karratha Leslie says that there were sheep on West Lewis island put there by Bateman 60-70 years ago, remains of a homestead near south-east corner, 2-300* from shore, land on all islands irrespective of tides. We talked over Dampier's description & there is some doubt that Dampier's Rosemary Id. is actually the modern Rosemary and should be Enderby Id. Dampier refers to the Bluff head being on the Eastern side of the island is clearly a mistake - see his later reference to inner and outer sides. Dr Leslie had been at M.C.E.G.S. '11 to 17' a boarder Mrs L. had sister Mrs White who lived in Belenia(?), ref also to Peter Potts of H.K.
Leslies knew nothing about animals. Euros around the homestead, Reds plentiful on the plains between Karratha and Roebourne.
Arrived hotel, met Balls - nice people gave them Barry's shell.
Telegram from Lewis, Min of Edu & Native Welfare:
"Will visit Depuch Island Thursday 31st May." Ted Allen & wife, Cyril Neals.
> 24th May 1962 Thursday
Wrote letters to Margaret and to Duncan in reply of his of 22nd in which he gave the following info:
1. Diprotodon from "the gravel beds of the banks of the Oakover R. near the old Braeside Homestead". F.S.Forrman to whom the skull was first handed says that it was found by an old prospector (name not recorded) who is now dead, and found in 1940-5 years.
2. Vollprecht. Observatory, informed museum of a meteorite seen to fall on 21.7.61, sighted in Braeside, Woody Woody and Warrawagine stns. Noise heard and flash seen. It approached Braeside from the southwest. Duncan wrote to the manager but no info. I wrote back telling him that I would go to Braeside down the Manganese road and also that I had heard of the meteorite from the Carpentina Exploration boys who we met in Onslow. They had seen the scars of the impact. Drove out to Samson to see Bill Miller about boats.
Samson fisheries, met Bill Miller, considerable difficulty over boats. He has a freezer boat in a tidal creek which goes down as a mothership to Dampier
Archipelago - probably tomorrow, and all the fishermen start fishing. Anyone to take the party to Depuch would need to be compensated for fishing loss as well as costs. Agreed on 20 pounds per day. Agreement is that Bob McIllrick will have his 18ft boat at Balla Balla at first light on Sunday morning ready to start & that he will be available at first light Monday to return the Berndts. Further arrangements to be made from that point, all kit to be there.
> Monday morning.
Called on Graham Wilson at Native Welfare, most helpful, just taken over, needs an outlet for aboriginal artifacts, promised to get one for him- will talk to him. Coast native Mibben Low (or Mivan Lowe) - full blood, citizen rights, said to know about coastal islands. In trouble - works on wharf on Samson. Also saw Cyril Leake, interesting local character, paints and cuts tumbled stones etc.. Had long talk in evening with Alkes(?) all Balls. - shells, promised info to Harry Tilbrook, Peter & Pat Slaters.
> 25th Friday 1962 May.
Phoned Ted Roberts, he will pick up Ron & Katharine Berndt at Balla Balla first thing on Monday. He also gave permission for the local vehicle & Graham to help me and get the people out tomorrow & to recce the route to Balla Balla today. Graham will ring him this evening to inform him of
(a) the state of the road for minister on 31st.
(b) Route in from Hedland to pick up Berndts.
Rang Miller: he will not sail until Friday now. Will get kit down to creek as soon as possible i.e. Tomorrow.
Rang Stan: Truck will pick up kit for Balla Balla this afternoon. Must make sure that: (a) Water drums (b) Battery are laid on.
Went out to Welcome Homestead & sorted out the stuff for Depuch & Dampier, got back to hotel & found that no petrol drums available. Phoned Bob & arranged for each member of party to bring 2 1/2 gal. containers for water.
Call from Griffick of W.A. Newspapers, they will be over to the island on 31st, booked them in with Stan Ball for night of 30th.
Drove out to Balla Balla, turnoff Hedland, Wittenoom...track Northwards, Balla Balla. Unloaded kit on a spur of land at the end of the causeway across the mudflats. A horrible journey under grey skies and patches of rain through loose mud, crabholes etc to a horrible place among the mangroves. There is the remains of an old jetty which impossible to use, a wrecked lugger lying on her side in the mud and across the mangroves great black bulk of Depuch. Back to Roebourne.
> 26th May 1962 Saturday
Got kit ready for moving to Balla Balla, went down to Samson to see Bill Miller and make final arrangements. He tells me that the tide will be bad on Thursday & that the Minister's visit will not be easy, possibly 7-1100 hrs.
Went out to Don McLeod's camp, unfortunately not there, back on Thursday.
Picked up party from plane, Boswell missed it ! Poor boy, he will be v. upset.
Trouble getting out of Roebourne, the usual business of friends giving cups of tea etc. Drove to Balla Balla, some trouble with starter motor on way & Graham Wilson had a puncture, he came down to ferry the party and will come over to the island. Found Frank Norton with a fire going and tea on, most welcome. he is doing v. well. he got the truckload halfway across the causeway & dumped (?). Had a bite to eat & then onto getting the load down to the mangroves, finished at 10 pm & to bed.
> 27th May Sunday
Left Balla with Bob McIlrick approx 8.00, took colour film on way across, arrived at foot of Watering Valley at 8.25.Searched for campsite with Graham Wilson & Frank Norton, found good site on beach to south of W. Valley. The beach is a beautiful sandy bay with mangroves in a small creek at the valley end and small dunes behind the creek at the W. Valley end and small dunes behind the creek line. There is some Acacia coriacea and white gums behind the dunes at the foot of the steep hills.
Second party had great difficulty in the mangroves, Berndts & Crawford & Girls(?). Third party, Bob Pryce (who acted as Beachmaster) Glen Storr, Ray Penrose arrived about lunchtime - they did a wonderful job.
Set up camp, saw a honeyeater in the acacia at Watering valley. Canid tracks everywhere and Rock wallaby scats & skulls. Went for a walk with Glen and Merrilee found a fresh fox earth in the top. Hope that Graham will be able to get a black clogger(?) over here tomorrow. Boswell may also turn up. Bob McIlrick is fitting in very well. He, Ray & Helen went fishing , no luck. Saw little wood swallows, crows, blackheaded cuckoo shrike (?), butcher bird. Went for a walk with Glen along beach.
Shot Female P[etrogale] lateralis WR89 with pouch ... male furless, eyes closed did not squeak, no balance wt.27 gm, total length 150 to nearest cm. HF29, pinnae pigmented but folded down, 2nd upper and lower incisors just visible through skin. ..920, Tail 460, HF 130, Ear 55, Wt 2000g skin, skull, pickled carcass.
> 28th May 1962. Monday
Got fire going & went for a swim. beautiful. Bob McIlrick got a fish for breakfast, went for a walk and got pickup skulls along the beach line[Skulls Depuch 1,2,3,4], collected Artsarus(?) minor, budgie in acacia - seems lost and woeful, solitary. Singing honeyeaters plentiful but could not get in range of them, saw longifolia on edge of mangroves, prepared collecting skins with formalin & salt water, Merrilee skiing.
Walked down to Watering Valley to see if I could collect a bird, got Ablepharus with red tail and yellow longitudinal stripes, pick up skull[5.], found fresh fox earth with 2 wallaby corpses, many fox tracks. Walked up valley behind first line of rock hills behind beach, collected pickup skulls,
Royce and others also collecting pickup skulls[shells?). Went up to Beagle point & saw the Beagle inscription also one by W. Miller. Bob McIlrick says this was carved c.1957, carvings numerous on the point. Collected skull of a large macropod (M. rufus) on the beach dune line c.20ft above sea level or 20ft above the driftwood line. This was immediately to the E of the blue rocks to the east of the camp. Saw eagles and ospreys, nothing in osprey's nest.
Went out with Stan after dark, walked until midnight - nothing seen at all. went to bed in light rain.
> 29th May 1962 Tuesday
Went out to see if I could get some birds, no luck beyond a butcher bird on the dunes, blowing from the N.W. a nasty morning. Saw buzzard, pied & sooty oystercatchers, crows -(being attacked by a ? kestrel)[Stan saw it close and says peregrine falcon], singing honeyeaters, little woodswallows, impossible to get near enough for a successful shot. situation serious. Vertebrates v. rare in this awful rockpile, even lizards few & far between, saw only two in three days & of these collected one. Fox v. daring, came into camp last night, will set a trap.
West up to valley above camp, no luck, very sticky & muggy, started to rain hard, got bedding in & managed to get specimens under cover. Made box for them with Merrilees who lined it with polythene. West up valley behind camp then South across range and down valley tending west, eventually found gorge of Watering Valley and turned down into it, entered it below the cross-gorge & back down to the north. Shot two small pardelotes in valley above camp, only one will make a skin, got back to camp after dark, out again in evening with Glen, no luck, no eyes at all, an extraordinarily barren place.
> 30th May 1962 (Wednesday)
Went up Watering Valley with Merrilee looking for birds, saw "Japanese carving" agree with Glen that this is pseudo. [copies of script, Fisher script]
The Beagle inscription found by Glen is v. good, it is indistinct but it looks like [sketch of inscription].
On to "cross gorge", entered up right fork to the very top, collected small grey bird - lark-like(?). Reached metal trig point on high point, can see mangroves of mainland and also islands across bay from camp, all way up this gorge various peckings in sides of gorge. Climbed down into wide high-valley of Watering Valley gorge, bands of rock & valley floor with peckings. Entered creek on far side of valley ; collected Kistlands(?) honeyeater silonage: various plants incl. Kurrajong & ficus came down valley to deep pool just above "cross gorge" (shore this excellent goana) Excellent emu(?) peckings - large and well executed. Just below crossgorge on S. side of gorge set high : two men [sketch of pecking]. Going down gorge passed two white gums and then crossed to western side and continued down to "Chinese carvings" and Beagle inscription. Built cairn on corner block about 6ft up wall just below Beagles.
Returned to camp and cleaned up area in preparation for minister(?). Looked at air photos and decided next two days work. Decided to go up a valley to the west of Watering Valley system this opens to the seas around the coast.
> 31st May 1961 Thursday
Got up called camp, cleaned up etc. Bob McIlrick arrived with Bill Boswell - minister held up for 24 hrs will come tomorrow. Cleaned up species shot previous day, went to Watering Valley, filmed carvings at cross valleys. Went out of right gorge into new valley and shot owlet nightjar. Back to camp, out in evening to look for wallabies - nothing.
> 1st June 1962 Friday
A complex day, no time for .... taking(?). packed up all specimens collected, checked all labels, prepared for arrival of minister's party. This party arrived at 10.30am. and stayed until 2.00 pm. They visited the point with the osprey's nest and saw the carvings & the two Beagle inscriptions. They then went up into the gorge with Ian. The party comprised the Minister (E.M.H. Lewis), Commissioner of Native Welfare (Frank Gare), Director of Primary Education (Wallace), District Officer Port Hedland (Ted Roberts) & press & TV. We then packed up and got off about 5.30. Great difficulty at the end at Balla Balla - press landrover bogged, stayed night at Sherlock River.
> 2nd June 1962 (Saturday)
Drove in to Roebourne with Glen and girls. Balls promised to look after them, showers etc & to get Glen (bad eye), and Merrilee (irritating sandfly bites) to hospital and then down to the boat. Went back for the others, had a bite of breakfast & then got the whole lot down to the creek behind Samson, loaded boat and got away at 10.10 hrs.
> Dolphin Island.
Sailed around the other end of Dolphin & then into Flying Foam Passage, went ashore on beach with small lagoon with mangroves towards end of passage. Tide out, an awful portage across the sand and shallows in drizzling rain. Set camp up and tent fly up. Rain set in, all stores under fly for night.
> 3rd June Sunday 1962.
Rained hard all night - lay in until about 8.00 got breakfast for party.
Plotter notes to be taken by parties. Glen & Helen (Southern), Ride & Merrilee (about due SW across island Bob (almost due east). plan to cross to coast & look for carvings(?). Merrilee & I left camp crossed over to the Western Broad Valley opposite Boat passage. Native carvings in rock column at Northern end of Northern pile (under cloud in air photo 5083). [page of sketches of rock carvings] Crossed over to the Eastern mangrove flood plain in Boat Passage, met Bob Royce on way. He had got too far south. Was pleased to get one specimen of the Cassia in flower, went down hill to the western side of the flat floor, crossed over at low tide to a small heap of rocks among the mangroves, found further carvings, saw Petrogale lateralis, v. distinctly: white facial stripe & lateral stripe v. clear indeed.[2 pages of drawings by Merrilee MacDonald]
Returned to camp across island heading due West. Shot Brown Honeyeater at dusk and then a female robustus young WR90: HF22, E95, TL114, Tail 57, Wt 5.4 kg. Skin & skull.
Helen reported foxholes & diggings. Glen & Helen found an aggregation of carvings at a creek below the camp in Flying Foam Passage. Bob Royce reported scattered carvings much as we did. Decided to spend next day in going to photograph Glen's site & then to try to get a male Robustus for Merrilee.
> 4th June (Monday)
Walked down to Glen's site at creek below camp in F.F. Passage, v. depressed, the carvings so far are v. poor compared with those at Depuch. They seem to be related - some fish, turtles, kangaroos etc and stick men, but also some curious "gobbies" which appear to be local. completed a b&w panx and then discovered that we were out of b&w, completed it in Ektachrome.Walked back to camp via the western edge of the broad valley hoping to get a euro. Shot a female robustus WR91, new born joey in pouch, carried it back to camp Wt 13kg, HF 24, E 11, TL 135, Tail 64, Joey later lost.
Absolutely whacked - as is the whole party. Feet are very sore from those dreadful stones, so much more difficult to move in than Depuch. These weather round and the spinifex is full of gibber like stones and the great rock piles are poorly locked and are very unstable to walk on.
> 5th June 1962 Tuesday
Shot 5 corellas from a flock of about 30 feeding near camp. Tried to walk around for a euro, no luck. Bob & Glen left after b'fast for north of island.
Bill Miller & Bob McIlrick arrived to take us to Legendre, complete misunderstanding. They will be back tomorrow to take us to Angel or Gidley.
Bob took us down to the creek where he sheltered from the cyclone. We entered it at high water, a beautiful little mangrove creek between high rock piles opening out into a broad valley, photographed entrance with boat in both Ektachrome & Plus x. This marks the start of a new Plus x(2) and the beginning of this sequence in Ektachrome.
Examined rock piles along the western edge of the water and at the beginning of the broad valley, a truly remarkable set of carvings & probably many hundreds more. Nearest to the sea there are v. archaic carvings, weathered out so far that there is little colour difference between them and the surrounding surface. 3 rocks unlike anything I have ever seen before a curious looking thing rather like the artemias one sees in salt lakes. Also a remarkable pair of tall thin people. Masses of kangaroos, most beautifully executed, some stick figs. (holding hands) are[sketch] and various unusual designs.
Altogether v. good locality. Took a whole cassette of b&w and recorded all main types. Photographed across boat passage up Wide Valley . The artemia-like creature (drawn from memory) is in the following plan [sketch]. Unfortunately Rob had to get the boat out again at high water & I had no time to sketch. Collected a robusta skull. Shot turtle. These are plentiful in this creek which Bob agrees should be called Turtle Creek. Left Turtle Creek at 12.30, on up coast to place in mangroves N. of our Camp Beach in Flying Foam Passage. Had luck on Hill top overlooking beach and Flying Foam, a most lovely place. Frank Norton Sketching. Walked down to convergence of many gorges above the beach, a great rock pile overlooking the sea, and the only thing in the centre of the rockface - a most humorous "gobbie" dancing [sketch].
Photographed peckings, lowest (ie nearest sea) is a good v. big kangaroo, some anthropomorphic "gobbies" [sketch]. The drawings are not high in number, about 1 doz. in all but of v. good quality. Location [sketch map]. Immediately facing the dancing gobbie at loc. A is a steeplejack tree (Vertilago viminalis) under which there were some old & first peckings which I could not photograph due to light [sketch]. Finished & walked back to camp. The rockpile back at camp also contains several peckings [sketch].
> 6th June 1962 Wednesday.
Blowing hard from the east. Do not expect Miller to come over now. Explored rock piles around camp.[sketches].Went back to Glen & Bobs "Stanley Chasm " to find the carvings I missed yesterday. Photographed many carvings, outstanding examples were a tern with a fish in its beak, a man with beard & various other anthropomorphic figs. Also present were typical Hedland turtles, dingoes, kangaroos etc.Gorge also contains various inscriptions by Europeans eg. W.H.1860, HT 1872.[sketch] contents of a single panel. Went back to finish off the gorge with the dancing "gobbie". Big fallen block at entrance to gorge is outstanding with 3 anthropomorphs. [sketch a turtle & 2 dogs]. Heard boat engine : Bill Miller, Les & Peter (Buck) had the advantage of a drop in the wind to come in and go through to Samson. Decided to take Frank Norton back into Samson because there was every likelyhood of wind continuing & making it impossible for him to get to Roebourne in time for plane on Monday. Sorry to see him go - he has been a v. good member of the party and a stabilising influence. I am also very pleased with his paintings ; to me they are a very fine record of how the party has felt about its islands. Wrote a hurried letter to Margaret, asked her to get in touch with Ray. Also sent all film exposed to date with a note to Bob requesting return of b&w shots to Roebourne.
> 7th June 1962 Thursday.
Morning started dull with slight rain . Got tent re-set up because wind had about demolished it. No sign of Bob, does not appear to be a hope of getting to Angel & Gidley today, much too strong a wind.
After lunch gave up waiting so shot several birds ie 2 singing honeyeaters and a willie-wagtail to keep the girls busy and then went out with Glen to see if I could get a male euro. Burnt spinifex looking for lizards - now have 20 Diplodactylus elderi probably more than all the museums of the world put together!
Glen's reptile score is now 14 :
Varanus gouldii, Gehyra variegata, G.(?) punctata, Diplodactylus elderi,
Phyllodactylus ocellatus, Tiliqua banchialis (?), Spheromorphus lesueri,
Ctenophorus isolepis, Ablepharus bontoni, A. taeniopleurus, A. greyii,
Amphibolurus sp.(?), Demansia psammophis, Chelonia mydas.
Collected a male M. robustus [WR92] Total length c.171 cm., HF, 27,: E 111/2, no tail length taken, skinned out in field because too heavy to bring back entire - 40 mins. woth a 2 in. pocket knife ! Steep slope with spinifex (Triodia) and rocky boulders.
> 8th June 1962 (Friday)
Cleaned up camp and prepared to move out. Bob McIlrick came in with boat and we decided to go over to Angel and Gidley for a brief spell before full tide when it would become possible to get to Legendre. Storr & Ride went, Royce & girls stayed on Dolphin.
Landed on North western beach(in the passage between Angel & Gidley), no sign of macropod scats, rat holes everywhere in sandy flat, flora seems different from that on Dolphin, fox scats, grasses everywhere but appears to be ungrazed eg Themeda on Dolphin has very little height but here it is knee height. Walking in gullys is very difficult owing to grass covering boulders. Spent 20 mins. on island, artifacts common above beach.
Gidley Island. Landed on beach opposite that on Angel, spent 20 mins on island, just like Angel grasses everywhere, fox scats, no sign of Aboriginal inhabitants.
Landed on Legendre approx 3 pm, v. varied vegetation, no sign of mammals, got camp up, collected some snails, wolf spiders everywhere.
> 9th June 1962 (Saturday)
Rained during the night, collected water in tent fly, we are a bit short & could be in trouble if boats are unable to come for us on Wednesday. Dried bedding, showers in the morning, walked out across the island to a red-soil depression in the centre, large number of rodent burrows in the sandy soil.
After lunch went out again with Glen. This island is predominantly made of an indunated (?) aeolianite with sand along beaches, some slight mangrove mud, valleys which are depressions filled with a sandy red loam. The ridges are of hard aeolianite with pisolites and flow laminae visible, no sign of the B. & D. fossil Boths. On the northern side of the island are sea cliffs with a wide salt spray zone of exposed aeolianite and a characteristic flora. The clifftop is also dotted with cast up boulders as on Bernier & Dorre. The burrows of mice are common everywhere there is any soil & they are often beneath Sarcostemma or Triodia. Found a skull in the ground and obtained a small murid by burning out a Triodia patch in the splash zone, it staggered out of its burrow somewhat chat was shot at, dived back into a burrow and was dug out , it made no attempt to bite or made no sound.[WR 93]1+3=8 (these could be wrong) HF 25.5, E 16, total length 21.5, tail 10, scales 12-13 per cm.
Photographed b&w, fixed in formalin, uteri richly vascularized with 3 small placentae showing though as one born and one in the other.[Colour not different from the 2 males caught on 10th June only apparent difference, rather subjective, is that the guard hairs are less prominent and the head seems less heavy] Tail stripped when being handled
Collected three flakes from surface, appear to be granite or at least a dark igneous rock, quite foreign to Legendre. no sign of carvings and difficult to see any surface of rock hard enough to take them. Set 3 live traps baited with bread and 3 breakback mouse traps, 1 with apple & 2 with dried peach all set around corners in the central soil filled depression. Walked about with torches after dark - no sign of movement. There is a half moon, already well risen early in the evening. This may be keeping them in.
> 10th June Sunday 1962.
Shot singing honeyeater, visited traps : 1 live trap set off with murid in it. 3 breakbacks all set off one with an adult male in it, others empty. Adult male covered with ants but appears likely to make a good skin [WR94], male, HF 26 mm. E 16.5 total length 250cm, tail 120 cm, wt 86 g., tail scales 9-10 per cm., underfur white to roots dorsal fur, very long dark guard hairs (approx 3 cm long) overlying greybased yellowish tipped dorsal hair, tail hairs about 1 1/2 scales long, incisors brownish, testes descended, skin & skull.
Photographed fore & hind feet in b&w and sde view of WR94. [WR95] male ht 28mm, E.15.5, total length 240 cm, tail 110 cm, wt 65 g, tail scales 10-11 per cm., testes descended, colour as in WR94, skin & skull. When picked up by the tail the tail stripped its skin ? escape mechanism. Walked over to ocean side of island filming. Set 3 live traps & 3 break backs.
> 11th June 1962 Monday
Trapped two Rattus in live traps, 2 break backs set off but mouse traps are really too small for this job. Ectoparasites - ! two species of tick and 1 of flea (some copulating) collected [WR96] female 2+3=10. Total length 24.5 cms, tail 12, HF25.5, E. 16.7, wt 69 g. trapped in central depression in island, red sandy loam, many burrows, live trap baited with dried fruit. Skin, skull preserved, uterus richly vascularized, 1 pigment path in one uterus and 3 in the other ? early pregnancy. [WR97] male, total length 22 cm., tail 10.5, HF27, ear 16.5 wt.49 gm. Underfur seems much thicker and longer than in WR96, young animal, testes closely applied to lower abdomen on either side of tail, no sign of descent into scrotal pouches.
Walked down into sand plain at foot of escarpment and behind the major area of mangroves on the south side of the island. Good caves along the escarpment which varies from 6-12 ft high as a small cliff. Saw rat in dusk, Glen saw 2 in daylight. Collected rat bones (in large numbers) from the caves and also saw others which are possibly human. Set 6 traps, 2 in the sand plain.
> 12th June 1962 Tuesday
0520 hrs Got up, got breakfast going to meet the boats if they come. Visited traps, the home traps in the centre of the island contained 2 species of Spenomorphus (?) isolepis ! The only live trap contained nothing, bait - prunes - not touched. Went down to the sand plain by the big mangrove patch, 2 traps, two rats. [WR98] male, scrotal testes, wt 83 g, tail 26.5 13.1 cm, HF 28 mm, E 17 mm. [WR99], male, scrotal testes, Wt 63 gr, TL 23.3 cm, Tail 11.3 cm., HF 28... E 16.5 gm. Both caught in sand plain between limestone escarpment & the sea (mangroves), extensive warren systems, both traps baited with diced peach.Boats arrived and loaded with great difficulty owing to rapidly falling tide. Got both boats out to the islands between Legendre and Gidley by walking alongside & pushing. Aborigines will easily do the crossing. A few auks about & turtles plentiful. Landed on Malus, picked up the stores & then on to Lewis. Landed on Lewis in the bay which is greatly indented in the northeastern coast of the island. We have an excellent campsite at the eastern edge of the beach clear of the mangroves but close enough to enable us to collect mangrove birds and wood. Walked out and examined the plain behind the beach - numerous fresh rat holes and climbed the range immediately behind the camp and down into the valley on the opposite side. This is filled with dense spinifex and steppe vegetation - clearly not been burnt for many years if ever, and there are numerous rat holes. No sign of scats of macropods anywhere, a few rat droppings among the rocks in the range and many in the valley and on the coastal plain. No sign of macropod grazing. I would say there is no robustus on this island. Set the traps on the coastal plain, bait peaches. Got tent up. Collected stone curlews.
> 13th June 1962 Wednesday
A beautiful night, crisp, no rain or dew, slept soundly right through and awakened by corellas flying overhead at first light. Got fire going and breakfast on, then visited traps, nothing and no trace of a visit, must reset in valley. Worked out routes with Glen and Bob. Glen will do the edges of the Northwestern semi island and rocky headland to the west of that. I will get the traps into the next valley (seen last night) and will cross to the coast immediately opposite the camping beach (s.e. side of island) and work back to camp around the northeastern headlands. Walked out up the valley to its southern end and set traps then climbed highest hill in sight. From top could see that the passage to E. Lewis was completely above water except for some 20 or 10 feet at the East Lewis end. This will not have been more than 2 or 3 ft. below surface. The stack north of E. Lewis is also walkable too. Had lunch on the rocks of excellent rock oysters, nuts, dried fruit & an apple - meal fit for an aristo. Continued along the beach, examined an osprey's nest, no birds, no sign of scats among the rocks. Found the first drawing among the rocks at the eastern end of shingle beach. Curious drawing not seen before : micaquates (?) & curious fine drawing, another in the top of the rocks [sketches].Returned to camp via northern headland, no carvings.
> 14 June 1962 Thursday
Caught 2 rats in the live traps. These are much darker than the Legendre rats. [WR100] Female wt 100 g. 2+3=10 as in Legendre rat, TL26.5 cm, Tail 12.5 HF 27.5 mm E 18mm, Scales per cm=10. Skin, skull, carcase in spirit. Uteri much larger than in the L. animal, 5 pigment spots in one and 2 in the other. Vascularization weak compared with Legendre. This rat is much more shaggy haired than the Legendre rat and seems to be a very much gentler creature The female has a pale tip to its tail but this may just be an individual variant. [WR101]Male, wt 115 gm, T L 26.5 cm, HF 27 mm, E 18mm, scales per cm 9-10, testes scrotal, skin, skull, carcase in spirit. Went back into valley with Royce and then over to coast to locate the carvings accurately in the air photos. Did this & then back to camp, no further carvings. Bob McIlrick came in the evening, fishing v. bad, he is willing to work for us, laid in a full day. Rosemary then Enderby followed by the Intercourses if there is time.
> 15th June 1962 Friday
0730 Bob turned up, off to Rosemary, quite a surge, landed in beach on northern side. Royce did a circle around from the beach, Stan went over to the north western point to look at the rocks for carvings and to collect lizards. Ride went down the main rocky ridgefrom the north beach and then across to the main massif. Rock wallabies (P. rothschildi) very common, their tracks numerous among the low coastal vegetation, droppings everywhere. Climbed rock piles and rothschildi everywhere, stood still & they were very inquisitive and came down and looked at me, some got within 12 feet or so. Took numerous photographs - b&w and col. should have an excellent series. Characteristic arms straight out in front when agitated, pose exactly like the woodstock animals in the yards at Zoology. Animals paid little attention to me. One of the animals - a large one - was very pugnacious about a position among the rocks, gave other animals physical hell which intruded. Hope I got a photo of them fighting. Collected a curious new land mollusc on the top end on the southern side of the massif, v. flat on top - unlike anything I have seen. Saw a deep (rich) brown Egernia about 8 inches long with thin tapering tail., v. short snout with yellowish labial scales.[Glen says (?) stinolata group]. Found carvings on s.w. of massif. There is some coastal limestone here like Legendre in valley. Picked up boat out south western beach. Tracks of wallabies v. plentiful. Time on island approx 4 hours.
On to Enderby. Landed at E. end of major northern beach, walked across island to large pillar of rocks visible in hills in south. Crossed large claypan. No carvings seen but artifacts numerous. Wallaby tracks everywhere, wallabies seen by Glen, Merrilee and Helen who seem to think it is Rothschildi, Merrilee says it is naturalis but she didnt see the face or side view at all. These were all coming coastal indirectly. Picked up skulls, time on island 2 hours. The carvings on Rosemary are good quality but I had very little time to do more than locate them. There seems to be a predominance of anthropomorphs in the small series I saw, but I saw and photographed an excellent turtle. I am certain that a longer visit would reveal many more. Back to Lewis.
> 16th June 1962 Saturday
0600 hrs Got up and awakened camp. Bill Miller and Bob McIlrick turned up and took whole party & stores etc to "Collier' over anchored at Malus.
Sailed for Samson. Arrived Samson, very heavy swell, difficult to get ashore, left kit for next day and disembarked for hotel.
> 17th June 1962
Drove out to Black Hill Pool, sketched main types starting at the white gum on the further side of the pool and about 80 yards beyond the water, blazed with R. [10 drawings]. Merrilee Macdonald's freehand drawings in front of Oakover Notebook.