Just back (March 2014) from a trip into the interior (Innamincka Regional Reserve) with Marta Ferenczi (PhD student), Olga Pokrovskaya (Bird Ringing Centre Moscow) and Patrick Mileto (undergraduate student) to sample birds for avian influenza.
These recurring trips are part of a project (PDF) funded by US National Institutes of Health and Australian Wildlife Health Network. When we started the project in late 2010 we had great difficulties entering the area because of all the water around.
Four years later, the landscape is nearly completely dry. There were just two shallow lakes left in the vast Innamincka Reserve. And smelly, algae soups they were. The birds didn’t mind and the flies loved it.
And then there was the heat and very large numbers of dingoes (you could see up to 10 individuals at any one moment patrolling the lake shore), which didn’t make catching birds any easier. Still returned home with a decently filled dewar with samples, great memories and beautiful pics.