In relation to the camera and battery issues that we discussed, I have included a couple of web links that may be useful. As with all things technical it may be best to discuss over the phone should you require more detail.
As far as camera batteries are concerned, I have settled on the “black” Fujitsu’s. They have a 2550 mA capacity (in AA size), are low self-discharge, and have a very low failure rate. Detailed studies have shown that they are at the top of the tree when it comes to rechargeable batteries. The “white” versions are 2000mA and are fine but I reckon that the small additional cost is justified given the 28% increase in capacity. Given a good battery charger (essential) I am anticipating hundreds of recharges from these batteries. I swapped over to these batteries about 3 years ago and have never looked back. I often run 7 x cameras @ 8 batteries per camera so I require a few but to date I have not replaced one. Gone are the days of buying disposable batteries.
Regarding cameras - there is also a sea of options however again, after a LOT of research I settled on the Brownings. No regrets so far. I run 6 and have had no problems to date. There is no doubt the Reconyx’s cameras are a better option, but at approx. 3 x the cost of the Browning’s there are $$ issues here. Other key issues to consider with cameras are: waterproofing (critical), trigger response time, overall reliability, play back function, video functionality, and “black flash” vs low glow options. A lot to think about. Seems to me that unless one is going to restrict use to one’s own property, any camera with “low-glow” functionality is likely to be stolen within the first five minutes of being left. Hence all of my cameras are "black-flash" (=100% invisible= covert). One of the problems with cameras is that companies change models more often than I change my socks, hence following the performance of a particular model can be challenging.
But in summary, Browning “black flash” cameras seem to offer: moderate cost, fast trigger time, waterproofing, good reliability, video and play back functions.
Should you want to discuss battery chargers, high power torches or thermal scope technology I am very happy to help with that too. As you can see I have a passion for seeing what goes on at night in our bushland. Just on thermal scopes - I looked for sugar gliders on our place for 8 years without seeing one. After recently purchasing a new thermal scope ($$$ ouch !!) I saw 4 in the first 15 minutes. They really do open up our world at night.
As mentioned, please find attached a couple of links which may prove useful.
I’ve attached the bird list that I made during the visit. Thirty-three species in total for the day which is a good day’s birding.
There was some discussion about orchid ID – the following is very useful and about as up-to-date as you will get – Bush Gems: a guide to the wild orchids of Victoria https://bushorchids.weebly.com/bush-gems-orchids-of-victoria.html It is available as an eBook on CD-rom which I have loaded to my laptop and phone.
There are also some new plant ID tools becoming available which use Lucid technology. Very powerful and fairly intuitive to use. Unlike traditional plant keys you can usually identify things with incomplete information e.g. seed characteristics when you don’t have seeds available. At the moment these are only available for some of the larger plant families. You need to be online to use them.
The Pea Key - https://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/peakey/key/The%20Pea%20Key/Media/Html/index.html
Wattle – Acacias of Australia - https://apps.lucidcentral.org/wattle/text/intro/index.html
Euclid - Eucalypts of Australia - https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/intro/index.html
Asteraceae of Victoria - https://vicflora.rbg.vic.gov.au/static/keys/asteraceae and click “Go to Key Player”
We spent quite a bit of time talking about weeds and, in particular African Weed Orchid. I’ve attached a set of photos that I prepared so that I could show people what to look for. Feel free to print copies to show others.
An identification feature between Sudell's Frog (Neobatrachus sudelli) and Painted Frog/Mallee Spadefoot (Neobatrachus pictus) is that Sudell's has what is referred to as 'baggy pants', which is loose skin from the the groin to the knee (seen when stretching the back legs out), where as the Mallee Spadefoot has taught groin skin.
Written by Mirinda Thorpe
This page is to record conversations held within the group that would be useful for sharing information.