On Fri, 28 Feb 1997, Kim Lim wrote:
> Of course I cannot drive into the bush proper but then how much ground can
> you cover in the bush in one hour? For spotlighting on foot I think it's
> more sensible using a powerful torch-light.
I use a 6V, 7.5 Amp hr WET CELL motorcycle battery & a 30 W light. It's
much better than a torch & not prohibitively heavy or uncomfortable to
carry around. With turning the thing on & off at regular intervals to
listen for critters, I generally get 3-4 hours out of the thing without
any difficulty. According to some measurements I did of my average
walking speed, I can cover about 3-4 km an hour in open habitats, and as a
belt transect, that works out to be about 30-40 hectares of woodland
scanned per hour. A friend & I regularly go for about 3 hours, covering
potentially 90-160 ha of woodland. That's quite a lot, and the maximum
number of beasties we've seen in that time is about 200 (possums, Koala,
macropods, birds ....). Spotlighting on foot (with a real spotlight) is
the best way of seeing anything less obvious than an Eastern Grey
Kangaroo, Greater Glider or Common Brushtail Possum. Some owls will
follow a spotlighter on foot (Powerful is a notable example), and
Owlet-nightjars are much easier to see that way. Many roosting diurnal
birds are easier to see when walking as well.
... and as someone remarked, you can't beat a proper spotlight as a hand
warmer when its -5 degrees on a clear winter night!!
Geelong, Victoria, Australia