"Penn Gwynne" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
from the Top End
Wed, 25 Dec 2002 08:46:17 +0930
Sorry to hear you've been hospitalised, Penn. I hope you're on the mend.
Some of you may remember my three Kunwinjku grand-daughters that came to
stay a couple of Christmasses ago, after their grandmother with whom they
lived fled to a park in the middle of the night after an altercation with
her partner. They are now living with their mother in Arnhem Land. On
my last visit to my great distress I discovered that Angie has been
caught sniffing petrol. I saw her last trip and she looked very unhappy
- this very intelligent little girl is missing her Darwin school and all
the friends she made very much. Her grandmother, other relatives and I
are trying to get her into Darwin, to school next year. The younger
girls seem fine.
Esther my older Kunwinjku sister who was also hospitalised some time ago
is well although rather deaf now. Despite her and sister Miriam's
advanced age both (and 14 other custodians) are keen to start training as
guides for the Gudjekbinj project I mentioned in an earlier email. One
of the things they'll be trained for is to act as birding guides. We're
seeking funding from DEET for equipment, but if anyone has an unwanted
but functional pair of binoculars they would be most welcome.
And on the subject of birds, last trip to Gudjekbinj, Western Arnhem Land
I was interested to find White-lined Honeyeaters in open woodland among
relatively low rocky country (the area is appropriately called Kikiyow -
little bird dreaming). I hope to return early in the Dry with a
herpetologist and entomologist to do some surveys on this relatively
poorly known (from a European scientific perspective) area. We will be
camping at Kikkiyow which may prove interesting. My son Peterson says
Oenpelli Python is common here, and if I encounter a very large one, who
knows what could happen!
We hope that your Christmas will be happy, and New Year all you wish it
Denise and family.
PS "Birds of Australia's Top End" has received excellent reviews in top
UK and US birding magazines. It has sold nearly as well as any of the
all-Australia field-guides which I think must be encouraging for anyone
producing regional books.
Denise Goodfellow (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)
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