Monday, August 15, 2005

Watagans Expedition, August 2005 - Stick arrangements and other vegetation disturbance

Location: Watagans National Park, NSW
Number of participants: 2

Following the previous trips into the Watagans, confidence had been gained in this remote area and we felt more comfortable venturing away from the vehicle and the established firetrails.

On this trip, we took the car further down into the bush from the site we had originally investigated, along a steep and rocky 4WD track. On reaching a flatter section with an embankment on the left and a steep forested gully on the right, I noticed a broken tree and an area where something have disturbed the earth climbing up the embankment. I think it's worth mentioning at this point that the area we were visiting is deep in the bush and it is pretty unlikely that any people have been there for a long period of time. Certainly the track I was driving on had no tracks from previous vehicles, so we can discount any vehicle entry for the few weeks prior to my time there.

Looking uphill from the disturbed area was open forest and nothing much to see. So we got out of the car and headed down the hill from where whatever it was that made this disturbance came from, or was going. Approximately 20 to 30 metres into the bush my partner discovered to her surprise, a large fallen log with pushed-down grass on the uphill side. Very odd was a collection of eucalyptus leaves and twigs that had been gathered from somewhere and placed around the log, and the number of long sticks that had been placed roughly parallel along the length of the log (see photo)

Whilst being reasonably skeptical of some very detailed reports we had from some other researchers in this area, we had to admit that this "sign" was very interesting. Again, despite spending some hours in the area, no other activity was seen (sightings, vocalisations).