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John Gilbert diary entry

7 March 1845 - 8 March 1845

Page 45. Volume 2

much indebted. During the days march contrary to our expectations we did not see a single Emu381.

[in left margin]

Sat 8th

N.W. by W.

8 miles

Second Camp on Suttors Creek382

786

To day we moved on a further stage down the Suttor, Charlie again leading α making his short cuts saved us a very considerable distance, and we had the short stage of only 8 miles, Our course to day about N W by W. Roper α Brown reconnoitering for our next stage. the whole day light showers continued. The Suttor I already fear will turn out something like the Hughes, as we progress downwards and leave the rocky parts of the bed, as we came along to day I was surprised to see that many of the pools of water had already dried up, for although it has been raining each day since383 the showers have been so light, that no water is retained from them on the surface. nothing but very heavy showers or Thunder storms seems to have any effect upon the water courses of this as well as the Isaacs river country. from the general Cloudiness of the atmosphere the Dr has not been able to determine our Latitude since leaving Fusanus Camp384. A specimen of Sphenostoma cristatum was to day observed for the first time, but from our Guns all being wet from the constant mizzling rain could not procure it. At this Camp I observed the Estrelda annulosa - E. modesta α Poephila cincta very common, I saw also an example of Donacola castaneothorax for the first time since leaving Brown's Lagoon. the Dicrurus bracteatus is now becoming very abundant. Having come to Camp early I was enabled to take a ramble with my Gun during the afternoon, although I found nothing new, I observed for the first time in the Expedition Rhipidura rufifrons or dryas and Graucalus Swainsonii. While out I observed the following species. Eopsaltria Aust - Pachycephala pectoralis - Acanthiza lineatus ? - Malurus Lambertii - Estrelda annulosa - Estrelda modesta - Poephila cincta - Dicrurus bracteatus - Sittella leucocephala - Colluricincla cinerea - Ptilotis [flavigula crossed out] chrysotis - Ptilotis chrysops - Ptilotis penicillata - Ptilotis sonorus - Acanthylis caudacuta - Eurystomus Australis - Merops ornatus - Dacelo gigantea - Halcyon Sanctus - Oreica gutturalis - Artamus minor - Cracticus destructor - Cracticus nigrogularis - Gymnorhina - Grallina Australis - Cacatua galeritus - Graucalus melanops - Calamanthus minimus - Cincloramphus lesser -

Note 381

Leichhardt actually recorded in his diary for March 7th (Leichhardt 1847: 172) that the lands beyond the gorge “seem to be the favourite haunts of emus; for three broods of them were seen, of ten, thirteen and even sixteen birds”. He must have been referring to the various family groups of Emu Gilbert and Charlie, and Murphy and Charlie (“16 fine emus among which was only one old bird”), had seen and chased on the 4th, 5th and 6th of March.

Note 382

The Second Camp on Suttor Creek was estimated by McLaren to be at GR 148 408 on the Hillalong 1: 100,000 map, 8555.

Note 383

Gilbert appears to have written “since th” here but must then have decided to put “the” on the next line.

Note 384

There is a big “+” in the margin next to this comment about latitude. Was this put there later by Sir Thomas Mitchell?