from the Top End

To: "Penn Gwynne" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: from the Top End
From: Goodfellow <>
Date: 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 
to be.
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)
08 89818492

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