Went to town to get outfitted for better snake protection. This meant some thick work-pants, then some hefty canvas gaiters with heel straps and industrial Velcro closure. These cover the top of the shoe and almost reach the knee. All the Australian species of snakes, except for the king brown snake, have rudimentary fangs that are only about 5 mm long. That is puny in comparison to the American Rattlesnake. These snakes also have their fangs in the back of their mouths and have to open their lower jaw completely and strike somewhat flat-faced against their target. Since my leg is not a frog and therefore not something they want to eat, if a snake strikes at a person, they are mostly likely to hit once and not bother to do any of the chewing and venom release that they might do with a prey animal. A snake basically wants to get away from a person and hopefully a single warning shot will get the message across. And hopefully that warning shot would be low, hitting my canvas gaiter, and nothing else!
We also added rolls of athletic gauze to our packs for the current theory on snakebite care is to add pressure. You are supposed to start at the bite and wrap up the leg to the groin area. Then with another roll, start at the bite and wrap down to the toes. Call 000, stay calm, don’t walk, don’t elevate, don’t wash the bite site, and surely don’t try and suck out the venom. The photo shows our new gaiters!
Ok, done with that! Finally, it was well after lunch before we went into our study area to check on things. No new bowers, but some decorations had been stolen from a plate and they didn’t turn up at any other bower sites that we know of. That means only one thing. They were taken somewhere else. So we left another radio at that spot and will check in a day or two to see if it gets taken. The other two radios that had been deployed in similar situations haven’t budged :-(. We need a bowerbird to seize the moment and fly off with a wonderful blue straw that is stuffed with a miniature transmitter!
One bowerbird bower had eight or nine new decorations, all pieces of blue tape with codes that we’d left here and there. Some came from plates near or far, and a few came from another bowerbird’s mother load. Boy is that one going to be pissed when he realizes a thief has completed a successful raid.