Full Record

David Ride : [field notebook] : Kimberley Air trip (Cessna 310) Flight to Kimberley & Darwin, July 1963 ; Part 2, 20-26 July, 1963
Record no:
Call no:
20 - 26 July, 1963.
[49] p. : 18 cm.
Title on cover: Kimberley Air trip (Cessna 310) July 1963 : Part 2. 20 July onwards.
Asked Arthur about wild pigs on the De Grey, he used to be on the stations west of Warrawagine. He says that pigs are plentiful along the river on De Grey.

> 20 July 1963
Aircraft U/S, magnetos out of action in port engine. Spent morning stripping it down, then decided to leave Bill H. & Alex H. in Derby and Ken & I left by truck borrowed from Bernie M. Left Derby 1545 arrived Fitzroy Crossing 20.00 hrs. Ken Buller left the inn(?) at dusk to get back to their camp at Virgin Bore before dark, will return in the morning, sorry that I missed him. Phil Playford expected in during the next day as well.

> 21 July 1963 (Sunday)
Beautiful morning, country in good condition. Bob Fallon at Crossing Inn, knew Blatchford, spent time in old days as his agent in 1923,4, 5 shipping fossils from the Crossing soak for him, does not recognise the ...tothere(?) . H.C. Branby is gardener at the inn, will meet him later Arthur left with truck to get back to Derby by lunchtime. Will ask Bill to send a wire first thing in morning to let me know what to do tomorrow about going out. Fallon says that Blatchford spent most of his time in this area & would not be surprised if the ..notothine(?) came from here. Mr Branby says that a large bone was found between Rundles Bore and Tuber Creek - Mr Pat McDonald Chief Dogger from Wyndham - collected the bone from a native boy who took him to the site, carried in flower pots. (South of Christmas Creek). B. says good "concrete" exposures on the "Leopold" road at 12 mile gorge. Through the gap there a number of creeks, mayor of Christmas Creek is Don Laidlaw - could be helpful. B. told me that he had picked up an "oyster" in the Erskine Ra. Showed him the labyrinthodont fossils I collected - he is not sure but thinks they are the same. Will keep his eyes open.

Eric turned up in Land Rover and we drove down to Gorge, past homestead turnoff then straight on to antcamp hills down the main road then turned left through the antcamps and on to Virgin Bore, from there S.E. about 2 miles down an abandoned fence line to camp at a low outcrop. Toombs & Ken in good order, excellent collections : a beautiful fauna(?) with Arthrodius, Antionals(?), Palaeomiscids, Dipnoi (but these are a mess and could well be something else) Goniatites, small molluscs, Eurypterids & ? (the curious undeterminable things that have puzzled me in previous collections).

Drove out to a locality nearby where there is an aboriginal stone arrangement(?). Ken has collected surface artifacts and I photographed. Went over to the "Amphitheatre" in the Emanuel Range, found a beautiful little fissure fill in a cave (collected)and then another outside (found by Ken Haigh) - this had much more phreatic banding etc. Then on way back Toombs and I had a good look at the floor of the amphitheatre and concluded that the whole is a valley fill which contains shales, conglomerates, sun cracked mudstones and the local cement bedding & inclusions (?) are of the biostromal limestones of the range as well as sandstone pebbles which look as though they could be derived from the Permian (like the hills near the homestead) - collected samples of the fill.

Ken B. collected bats Taphozous in a cave and is also having success with Sminthopsis in a creek near the camp. fat tailed - pale with interorbital(?) stripe well marked. Drove back to camp, photographed the collection of Toombs etc. and then back to the Crossing where I gave the boys dinner. Toombs will be in Perth .

> 22nd July (Monday)
Going to be a hot day.

Ken, Eric and Harry Toombs turned up and we drove out to the exposure of probable Fairfield beds some 10 miles from Fitzroy Crossing along the Derby Road. It is a pit in the topof a little rise where a bull-dozer has pushed up the surface into heaps for road metal etc. Excellent inbatelsintes(?) fossils esp. brachiopods. I found part of the tentacles of a crinoid.Brypzoa also v. common. We collected a good series and I made arrangements with Toombs for him to take the lot. Have the material sorted and send half to us. I must make sure that Errol White adds this material into our agreement.

Got back to the Crossing, found that Bill and Alex had turned up so took Toombs & Eric up for a flight to have a look at Gogo - Bill went with Ken to collect some more fossils from Fairfield Beds (Brachiopods, coral ?). Had lunch at the Crossing then got aboard for flight to Kununurra.

Filmed some Gogo country, Leopolds not as rough as I could have expected, Durack Range very sparse savannah. Filmed Geikie Gorge and surrounding country then nothing until North of Pompey's Pillar from 9,000 ft. Coming into the Ord, fantastic rough country. Some stills taken, wrong height to take cine, still very open savannah, extremely broken rock piles (1545 over main road) Took a lot of film and photos of Pompeys Pillar area Kodachrome II-18, Film no.2 - 60 ft. Argyle Downs turning down over Ord River, still taken looking south, photos of gullying at Ord. Arrived at Club and got accommodation, not good - in undercroft.

> 23rd July (Tuesday)
Kununurra 0800 hrs take-off for Wyndham, some film at S of Ord soon after take-off - co..ing (?) a metre but at 32 frames at f8. Exposed the last five feet coming into Wyndham. Have decided - if not too rough - stick to 32 frames exposing us for 1/80 sec.

Wyndham. Take-off 09.15 hrs, bearing 335* for Cape Ruthieres, The patch of Trop. David Woodland at Crater(?) Valley is densely differentiated from the air. Trees are spaced as in savannah but there seems to be little cover between them. Few steep valley bottoms are densely wooded, particularly in the northern slopes.

09.45 Abreast Buckle Head coming up for Mt. Casuarina will turn over Berkeley River (full of water) for photography.

09.55 back to Casuarina on coast again.Photography with all cameras: Kodachrome II finished cue 3 18ft., - Photos of Cape Ruthieres Ektachrome 16. King George River - also deep gorge10.05 hrs. Le Sueur Island has a reef with breakers on eastern side about 1 island's width off shore. 1010 SE of Cape Londonderry v. dry sparse woodland, deep river gorges with dense woodland along foot of breakaways. Ektachrome S. into one of the inlets E. of C. Londonderry, 3 bays east of C. Londonderry excellent mangroves. Photo Stewart Islands, coming in over Pago Mission, photography Ekta & Cue 10.25. 10.35 on ground at Kalumburu, photography with Ektachrome on way.

Father : Sang
Father : Rasendo (or Rosendo)
Brother: Augustine - Brother Andrew ?

Says that Athol's material was collected from 2 main localities : from the rocky hills near the camp and the rest from the deciduous woodland and the airstrip which I photographed on the way in.

Went for a walk with the Father Superior, drove out W. past the airstrip into "Sandstone Country" where he says that the "ringtail" lives in the rocks [short tail as big as a cat] other animals are Squirrel [flying possum].  large grey kangaroo, little rock wallaby, larger rock wallaby & porcupine. The larger masses of sandstone blocks look identical with the Alligator River situation found by Dahl. the Black Pigeon with white wings is very common also. cf. Dahl. The little rock wallaby comes down to the "parent" country - seats v. common in like country. Marsden Creek in this country poorly vegetated (see photos of the "island"). Walked back to Mission then through it onto the black soil of the "Basalt" country. This is typified by good grasses growing right up to the roots of the trees, big trees, no Cypress pine. He says that the most characteristic animal of this country is the large red kangaroo (probably antilopine?).

15.35 Take off. cine 25, Kodachrome III 13 timed over basin of filmed area to give good pictures of sandstone country, then on to junction of Carson and King Edward rivers, filmed there. Up to Mt. Connelly, basalt savannah well spaced trees, entered reserve area, did some filming on way in but kept b&w in reserve - finished b&w. Turned west at Banjo Creek and then made a swift run back to the Ord. Finished the cine film with a shot of the high cliffs on the far side of the Pentecost(?) across the Forrest River. Kodak II of Wyndham from above the Leake Hills. 16.45 Shot of the hills KII last on film between W. & IC. In to land 17.05 hrs.

> 24th July 63 (Wed)
8.00 hrs Kununurra take off due west for Parry Creek where it crosses the Turkey Creek Rd in order to get photographs of Rogers loc.

New films in all cameras, took 3 b&w, 7 Kodachrome IIof the point where P. Creek crosses the old road. Sandstone country, trees fairly widely spaced except along the creek itself, a bit of a gorge but no real rock piles.

Wyndham. Photo of town coming in of Ken High - of town from Warf.

Take off for Prince Regent Rd. :10.30 b&w 4 Kodachrome II 11, cine none taken. have decided to expose B&W at 500th on the metre for the rest of the trip.

11.00 Junction of Gibb & Drysdale Rds, trees well separated, well watered with creeks but sparse vegetation along banks. Mt Hann area: E. of Mt Hann, entered Prince Regent River area about

11.30 and flew down the river, filming all the way. Because of the sun it was necessary to turn up river for each sequence. There were three major ones:
   (1) in headwaters
   (2) about  mid-river
   (3) tidal sandbanks area with ...ment of mangroves (4) final sequences at mouth of river. These were taken on the beginning of reel[5]. In all cases I changed films in the course of the river. Flew over Kuri Bay system settlement

12.15, took B&W. 12.25 flew over Montgomery Islands, very different in climate from the others which are rocky with woodland or savannah, they have low topography with no rocks, grasslands and mangroves. Over Koolan Is, filmed over Watjulin(?)

12.45 photos & film. All the country here is quartzite hills with sparse tree cover river valleys with mangroves. At higher levels the ..ion valleys seem to become fairly ......ble woodlands. Entrance to King Sound v. sudden vegetation transition S. of Saddle Hill filmed, and also edge of Stokes Bay,

13.05 Point Torment, the centre of Point Torment very different scrub steppe.

13.10 Derby. Had luck in Derby team found that the fuel leads to the starboard engine was worn through where it passed through the main span and a bad petrol leak had developed. New part from Perth needed to go into Broome by B..... truck.

> 25th July 1963 (Thursday)
Our wedding anniversary, sent a telegram to Margaret & letters to her and the children. Drove out to Lighthouse Point to try to see the dinosaur tracks but sea too high, Brown sandstone at lower levels & exposures of flint bedded sandstones with fine cross-bedding at higher levels but strata are horizontal [sketch], on top of this are some channel deposits full of rubbish obviously eroded into the sandstone. This rubbish appears to be solifluxion debris. Above this is a complex ..... with some plant fossils which seems to be heavily ferruginized with fine recognizable sandstones(?). Plant fossils collected from the upper horizons of the of the unferruginous Brown sandstone. Above the base of the uppermost channel deposits and also 1 spec from the ferruginized horizon [sketch].

Alex arrived at approx 11.30, Take off Broome 12.30 hrs, over airfield 12.32 1500ft., 138*, 12.38 over coast. Firestreaks very visible in the Pindan (classified in A.A.R. as Scleropoly(?) 1 serufs(?) several). 12.50 Sandhills coming in but still reasonable vegetation, tracks out here. Excellent E/W track 12.55. Low E/w sandhills of low white(?) parallel, 1300 hrs. clipe(?) ornne(?). Sandhills about 200* apart.

1300-1310 hrs photography in circ. 90/ft, all cameras(?) used / taken at about 3-400 ft. 13.25 flew between 2 series of salt lakes or clay pans. Probably Cudmalgarra clay pan and Chingal Mudduge spring in the Eastern side, no-name on the west. These are interdural , still due some sparse vegetation.

 Photo of chain sandhills 13.30 at 4,900 ft.

Crossing Cardy Biddy springs at 13.40 this is clearly an old river system II to the Fitzroy and De Grey, outcrops numerous. From what I have seen on this flight I suspect that the thinness of the vegetation on the southern edge of the Basin is due to the fires. Where fire streaks are present clues are blown out but not otherwise. In bed of Cardy Biddy R. quite dense patches of sturdy timber - looks a bit like Callitris from the air.

13.45 Sandhills now over vegetation badly fire streaked for some reason this is scored as Sclerophyll low tree savannah but it looks the same as the other.

13.55 Slightly bigger trees coming into the picture between the scrub.

13.58 Creeks with denser vegetation along their banks but hardly nack(?)west

14.00 Cross telegraph line took colour & b&w of creeks (b&w too flat, did not come out)

14.05 peneplain with breakway and dense "eucalypt" cover in valleys, presumably the Jurassic means you can see across the De Grey & Oakover.

14.10 Photos / colour of the De Grey. 1 at campsite (Carlindie(?) Creek) passing over Carlindie Stn strip. Photo of the De Grey from 5000. Finished off cine on it as well, end of reel.

14.22 photos coloured and b&w of Bamboo Creek. Country here is crossed with ranges which seem to be Oglaes(?) All around essentially trimodia steppe with vegetation in the creeks & washes(?).

14.35 Flying Marble Bar area, photos, colour & b&w of river and town. Searched for the "Marble bar" & found it upstream from the town in the edge of the hills.

14.45 set course for Wittenoom, rough range country with rounded spinifex covered hills, vegetated creeks in the larger valley bottoms. Very rough but essentially an old surface with little in the way of Breakaways.

14.50 Shaw R.. Hamersleys in sight in the distance. From Marble Bar onwards there is not really very much essential change in the country.

15.03 Turner River in Abydos Airstrip to the west of us. The granites are clearly visible and rise isolated out of the flat plain,Photographs from 6000ft, colour & b&w. The plain of the Turner R. is a wide arc and separates the Marble Bar hills from the foothills of the Hamersleys but they seem to run together to the east of our track.15.10 Coming up into the spinifex covered hills of the edge of the tableland. Tableland is savannah.

15.20 Swamps in Mulga Downs filled.15.25 Landed Wittenoom. Const. Tom Marshall correspondent of Glen Storr. Snakes. : Jack Flood Health Dept.; Bill Flynn, Tom McLeod, councillors, and town clerk Frank Shehan.

Went up into W. Gorge past old mine workings to rock falls around the Eastern Wall after Gorge branched off to West. Found various concretions and ripple marks but no fossils I could recognize. Photographed 2 lots & collected a small ancredin (?) to bring back to show to Neville and Dorothy Beeck to check whether it was these that they had seen. Tom Marshall drove Alex, Ken and myself up. Spent the evening with the council talking about Town & Reserve Planning.

> 26th July 1963 (Friday)
Ready for take-off at 08.00 hrs for Millstream & then Barlee Ra. Route: Swamps over Mulga Downs, film - Millstream via Karijinji(?) film - Mt Hubert area, then Mt Flora & due south to the ...., then direct course to Carnarvon.>  

Take off 09.25 hrs : Start of new reel : filmed range then the vegetation about the Mulga Downs swamps. Over Coolawanyah homestead at 10.55 hrs. Much of the flood plain of the river is bone crusted((?) sand with spinifex and sparse trees. Large patches of snakewood distributed in it. To the east of Coolawanyah the country becomes more broken with low rounded hills & minor breakaways. These hills have well vegetated valleys. 10.00hrs. Fortescue bearing much one district - still reticulated in a flood plain but this is much more restricted. Karijeanje Creek and homestead now visible ahead. Crossed over Karijinji homestead and coming up for Millstream. Local flying at Millstream, filmed and stills b&w & colour. Interesting how local & small the cajeput(?) forest is when flown over as compared with the impression of vastness which one gets clearing or .... through it.

10.35 Centre of Hamersley S.C., Silver Grass Peak. Film, & b&w & KII.

10.40 District creeks flowing S. i.e. now in watershed of Ashburton.

10.45 Country below ironstone sand gently rolling with isolated minor changes, vegetation patchy spinifex. 10.50 Stuart homestead with Boolaloo homestead in distance. Ashburton coming up. Very green, full of water, good trees along its course that spread out at intervals to form patches of woodland. S. of Ashburton across the river from the homestead several Depuch type hills, black, should be v. important for Rock wallabies & Aborignal carvings. 10.58 Mt. Florrie in distance 1 colour photo of rusty(?) lumpy(?) red hills. 11.05 - 10 Flew straight down Koolchabinna Creek through gorge Filmed - 50 ft. then took b&w & colour stills, started new cassette. Bearing throughout approx S, country largely spinifex s laffe(?) with some scattered trees, and concentrating along watercourses very rough terrain with scree slopes.

11.20 Maroonah homestead. We seem to have crossed the transition   between Sclerophyll shrubs savannah with Sclerophyll hammock grassland and Sclerophyll shrubs savannah with arid scrub - patches of which I take to be mulga seem to have become quite common but nowhere near enough to be called mulga country.

11.30 Williambury Homestead mulga thicker, photos c. & b&w. colour was a claypinit(?), b&w by homestead.

11.38 Crossing Minilya river sth branch, great line of circular clay pans filled with water, breakaways of Permian marine(?) series.

11.40 Breakaway of lighter colour in front, probably the beginning of the Cretaceous Peneplain with good onteritized tops(?).

11.48 Sand dunes (fixed) trending N.W./S.E. Photo KII, high clouds, also b&w, approx from Watermelon Creek, vicinity of Mardathuna H.S. Out of the port side we can see the change in direction of the sand hills to E/W in the vicinity of Binthalya H.S. The whole country is studded with clay pans filled with water, mulga now the dominant vegetation.

11.55 Film of this. 12.00 Flying parallel to Gascoyne enormous areas of flooded claypans on either side of the river. All this makes me suspect that a slight rise in rainfall in W.A. would fill great areas of marshes. Carnarvon visible on the horizon through cumulus. 12.05 Descended through cloud,

12.06 Crossing main road just north of Gascoyne Bridge, landed Carnarvon.

13.58 Take off for Bernier. 11 goats south of hisp, at least 1 kid, 25, 5, 13, 1+1, 1, 20, 20, 5, 20, 35, 5, 20, 35, total estimate 130, very rough estimate kids about 1 in 12. Flew total length of Dorre, no goats seen. Dead whale with blue marker south of Castle point. 14.35 Dirk Hartog Cape Inscription, vegetation down to large bloomt (?) on W. coast essentially as in B & D. Some small animal tracks seen, no sheep yet.

14.40 Goat or sheep seen, sheep and a well in the middle of the island

14.43 Sheep 14.48 Extensive sand drifts threatened(?).

14.53 over south passage, Edel Land peninsula, fixed sandhills of the B & D kind of vegetation, similar low scrub. Filmed & took Kodachrome just north of extensive sand drifts.... are crossed at

15.00 Tall scrub in valleys

15.04 Finished with shot of cliffs of Edel Land. Climb to 1500 & set course for mouth of Murchison

15.34 Descending to Murchison  mouth. Flew around, filmed until film ran out. Can't help feeling disappointed with it - so small after Prince Regent ![nature reserve] Kodachromes and last two of (1) Kalbarri town site (2 ) Rocky beach just south of the mouth. Hill River district - all swamps are filled and abundant water, one can easily .... & show a favourable ... could be created here for R. fisciges(?).

17.22 Alkimos hard aground, waves breaking against here too. Wanneroo area extensive lakes, rain squalls over Perth. 1730 Landed Perth.
Item availability
{ 1 } items found
Shelf no
Archives room (Bay 3)
On Shelf