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John Gilbert diary entry

16 November 1844 - 17 November 1844

Page 113. Volume 1

Sat Nov 16. Lat 25-36-0.

A ramble to day in the scrub, produced me nothing interesting beyond the presence of - Ptilotis sonorus, a Swan River species102; the Dr α Charlie were out the greater part of the day, and returned in the evening having been unsuccessful in their endeavour to mount the range. in fact we are much farther off the foot of the ranges than at first imagined, it was therefore thought necessary to go on a days stage farther to=morrow to give us a better chance of exploring the pass the Dr describes the whole country as abounding in patches of Brigalo scrub, interspersed with patches of tolerably clear country, small plains, Iron bark grassy hills, and the flats of the Palm tree Creek fine open grassy country. At our

camp the tall Cabbage tree Palm was growing in toler=able numbers, some of which were cut down for the pur=pose of obtaining the edible part for vegetables for our

evening meal.

Sund Nov 17. Pursued our way up the Creek in a Northern direction cutting off the many long windings. Charlie in leading after about 6 miles left the creek on our right, and we in about 4 miles came upon another equally well clothed with Cabbage Palm, numer=ous large Lakes α Lagoons about half a mile distant from the river on our left were past during the day. our course on the average nearly W.N.W. and cer=tainly through a fine country, the flats from both sides of the creek and the hills beyond most luxuri=antly clothed with grass, and tolerably clear forest land while our first days journey on the Creek from the Dawson was very frequently interrupted with the Brigalo scrub, but to day we travelled the whole distance without once having even to push our way through saplings or scrub. Eel Camp103.

104 Having camped beside a deep and long reach in the bed of the river, and from seeing so many large fish I was again induced to try my line, and in a short time was so far successful, as to catch 4 large Eels one of which weighed about 12 lbs. at the last Camping ground one of our dogs (a bitch heavy in pup) was found missing and the Dr Sent back Mr Calvert with Charlie to endeavour to find her, they found her dead, having

received serious injuries in killing a large Kangaroo a few days before, during the day another our best dog was also missing in killing the same Kangaroo she got very much cut, and as she did not make her appearance at night it was concluded she had also died from the injuries received.

Note 102

Singing Honeyeater Lichenostomus virescens. Gilbert collected a bird of this species on 20th December 1844; this specimen is now in the NHM (BMNH 1881.5.1.5587) but the Singing Honeyeater he saw on 16th November 1844 has not been found; perhaps he did not collect it.

Note 103

A second Eel Camp, estimated to have been at GR 774 773 on Ghinghinda sheet 8847. The party were actually by now on the main part of Robinson Creek, named by Leichhardt after one of his Sydney supporters.

Note 104

This passage refers to events on the 7th and on the 13th or 14th November.