Spottings

Here are stories of our animal spottings…

KOALAS

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First Koala

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Second Koala December 2012

It was very exciting to spot our first koala. Really every first sighting is exciting! But how is it that any koala can manage to sit in any tree in such a way that you can’t get a photo of its face?

No further koala spottings for a while, despite occasionally coming across the distinctive gummy, urine smell of one nearby.

Finally (8 Dec 2012), we saw our second koala. Or maybe it was the same koala in a different tree?

I have developed a theory on koala spotting. You can’t see them if you are looking: you have to catch a glimpse out of the corner of your eye and then pick your way through the long grass, swamp, etc to be sure it is koala! Despite a low success rate, it is worth it for the few times it works.

We have now captured a koala visiting on our wildlife camera (May 2015). He stayed in the tree for 2 nights. Here are the best photos.

Koala Arriving 1

Koala Arriving on The Hill 1 May 2015

Koala Arriving 2

Koala Arriving on The Hill 2 May 2015

Koala Leaving 1

Koala Leaving on The Hill 1 May 2015

Koala Leaving 2

Koala Leaving on The Hill 2 May 2015

ANTECHINUS

Major excitement (1 Dec 2012)! An antechinus (yellow-footed) has moved into our storeroom to nest. Mistaking it for a rat (me), we (me) removed its nest twice before we (Pete) realised it was an antechinus. Now we have given it a nest box (that it is not using) and are hoping to have antechinus babies soon. We are assuming it is a girl -’cause if it is a boy and he gets lucky it will be all over! The tarry and ‘fragrant’ poo is a bit unfortunate, but we read that if you put down paper a female will use it to toilet and we are trying that with some (incomplete) success. We have named it (her) Squatter.

The babies have arrived (13 Jan 2013)! We guessed they must have because the amount and spread of poo had increased, and this weekend we saw two of them. Very appropriately one was hiding in the Land for Wildlife folder. The other one was in a cardboard cylinder. They have grown very fast. Hopefully, they will get less shy and we will see more of them.

Well, the babies are gone (Aug 2013) but Mum is still around. Using the nest box now, but we have given up on the paper towel. When we arrived late one night we saw her coming in from outdoors through the space between the roof and wall. She was very friendly, just sat looking at us and then continued about her business. Pete’s friends say they had an antechinus in their house that came out to visit every evening and until they all went ‘Ooh! Look an antechinus!’ it danced around waiting for the attention.

More antechinus major excitement (Dec 2013)!  Signs (and by signs I mean poo and ex-rice paper lanterns) that the antechinus has moved out of the storeroom into the main room. That is NOT the major excitement. In fact, moving into the main room was a MAJOR breach of my cohabitation agreement with them, whereby they were required NOT to poo in the house. The excitement was when we went looking to relocate it (her as it turns out) and found …

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Antechinus Mum and Six Babies in The Nook December 2013

Yes! This is mum with 6 babies. She had nested in the upper bunk. It was fun (and by fun I mean NOT fun) catching her. Each time Pete went up one side of the bunk, we saw her little figure running under the blanket to the other side.  Eventually, I got up on the bed and managed to pick her up and pop her in the billy. We relocated her back to the nest box in the storeroom.  She was very good about it all really. Then, I guess, when you are lugging around more than you body weight in babies you are pretty passive!

It turns other that there was another mum, with another 6 babies, nesting in a basket in the storeroom as well.  And here is the super-major excitement … When I opened the basket and found her I saw them all feeding! They were even tinier.

Hopefully, everyone is happy in the storeroom again.

BANDICOOTS

A coupe of nights when Pete has stayed in The Nook himself (with no dogs) he was woken up by a bandicoot on the deck.  In August 2014 we put the wide life camera on the ground looking at the land just next to the deck.  A bandicoot visited every night, often more than once a night.  Here is the best picture.

Bandicoot near The Nook August 2014

DINGOS

As at March 2013 we had only seen one dingo, crossing The Hill and the driveway.  As soon as it heard us it froze, and went on tentatively, clearly smelling where the dogs and I had been just a short time before.  Looked mostly dingo-like, with maybe a little german shepard. We caught another dingo on the wildlife camera at a waterhole (September 2014). See photo below.

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Dingo at Little Creek Waterhole September 2014

BATS

We have seen microbats flitting past in the evening a few times. One night (Easter 2013) it was amazing.  We were reading in bed with the lamps on, and a couple of bats started darting in under the pergola after the insects.  We saw them many times, a few times a bit better than a blur!

ECHIDNAS

We have seen maybe half a dozen echidnas in the nearly 2 years since we’ve had Wordwood. I had a feeling we were due for a new spotting this weekend (Aug 2013), and sure enough we saw one in Echidna Meadow. The dogs sniffed it out, but I am pleased to say they neither touched it nor barked at it and left it as soon as told.

WALLABIES

The wallabies seem to be getting used to us being around too. We have been seeing them quite close to The Nook.  We caught one on the wildlife camera at a waterhole (September 2014). See photo below.

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Wallaby at Little Creek Waterhole September 2014

DEER

Despite the fact that they are feral, the deer are majestic as they walk by and look us in the eye.  We caught three deer on the wildlife camera at a waterhole in September 2014. See photos below. One seems to be an old loner and the others a younger pair.

DEER AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2014

DEER AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2014

DEER AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2015

DEER AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2015

BIRDS

Lots of birds. We see something new almost every time we go up. We have also found a couple of different old nests – amazingly constructed. I find the webpage Birds in Backyards really useful, so a link is attached under ‘Land for Wildlife’. Now Pete’s 10 year old daughter, Zoe, is becoming a crazy birdwatcher. Like father…

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Noisy Friarbird nest December 2012

Sitting at the picnic table (8 Dec 2012) we noticed that the Noisy Friarbirds have built a nest in a nearby tree. Hopefully, we will soon be watching fledglings learning to fly while we have breakfast. The tree is one we have put a bird feeder in … maybe that attracted them?

Lovely encounter with Yellow Thornbills at the dam (Aug 2013). They were sitting in a low shrub just a few feet from us and flitting back and forth to have a splash. Of course, we didn’t have a camera.

Evidence of Glossy Black Cockatoos feeding

Evidence of Glossy Black Cockatoos Feeding MAY 2014

We were delighted to find evidence of Glossy Black Cockatoos feeding in our She Oaks (2012).  At the LFW Open Day (May 2014) expert, Lisa Bailey from the Glossy Black Cockatoo Conservancy, confirmed. Apparently, they are picky eaters and will only use select feed trees. Also, different family groups feed in different ways.

We had a rainforest dweller visitor to our feeder (Sept 2014) – a White-headed Pigeon.  It stayed most of the morning, ignoring our activities just a few feet away at The Nook.  It started happy feeding but looked bedraggled after a shower of rain.

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white-headed pigeon at the nook september 2014

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WHITE-HEADED PIGEON AT THE NOOK SEPTEMBER 2014

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WHITE-HEADED PIGEON AT THE NOOK SEPTEMBER 2014

We caught a Pied Cormorant on the wildlife camera at a waterhole in September 2014. See photo below.

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Pied Cormorant at Little Creek waterhole September 2014

August 2015 and Pete found a nest with 2 Yellow Robin chicks on The Hill. The nest was in a gum sapling and only about 1 metre from the ground, yet there were plenty of large trees around. Doesn’t seem like a very smart survival strategy to nest so close to the ground! But Mum was standing guard. Photos of Mum and babies below.

Yellow Robin Mum 1

Yellow Robin Mum 1 The Hill August 2015

Yellow Robin Mum 2

Yellow Robin Mum 2 The Hill August 2015

Yellow Robin Babies 1

Yellow Robin Babies 1 The Hill August 2015

Yellow Robin Babies 2

Yellow Robin Babies 2 The Hill August 2015

Dec 2015 – Currawongs are nesting in the gum tree nest the Nook. High up but they have at least one chick.

FROGS

The surprising thing has been the number and variety of frogs we have seen and heard. Hopefully, another validating sign that we bought a healthy property. After the first of the Spring rains in 2015, we went up to the dam one evening and the frog calls were deafening. Pete recorded it on his phone and the Queensland Museum confirmed at least 5 species – Bleating Tree Frog, Eastern Sedge Frog, Emerald Spotted Tree Frog, Scarlet Sided Pobblebonk and Broad-palmed Rocket Frog. Land For Wilde also thought there was an  additional species in the cacophony – Ornate Burrowing Frog. The next morning, the dam was covered in frog spawn.

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Frog spawn on dam Nov 2015

Broad Palmed Rocket Frog

SNAKES

One of the first things we spotted was our red-bellied black snake. We have named him Sir Bernard Black and have treated him with GREAT respect. Sadly(?), he seems to have moved on this summer (2011). Possible sighting (Jan 2014) – a big snake skin, eye holes and all, over near the dam. Another possible sighting (March 2015) – another big snake skin, this time at the top of the hill above Platypus Junction.  Even bigger – see the photo!

On morning after we recorded the frog spawn (Nov 2015 see above), I spotted Sir Bernard Black again. This time he was swimming in the dam and stayed underwater for at least 20 mins.  The evening before we saw a very small black snake on the drive way? May Sir Bernard is a she and has a baby?

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Sir Bernard Black? (Next to a deck of cards)

FERAL CAT

We have seen what we think is just the one feral cat a few times now. We caught it on the wildlife camera at a waterhole in September 2014. See photo below. Zoe calls it Mittens. I think it is part panther!

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Feral cat at Little Creek waterhole September 2014

LIZARDS

We have been wondering every since we bought Wordwood why we we have seen so few lizards. Just one Nobby Dragon for the first 2 years.  See below.

Nobby Dragon

All of a sudden (September 2014) they are popping up. A Lace Monitor / Goanna has appeared a number of times and we have seen a Bearded Dragon. Now we have also caught a Water Dragon on the wildlife camera at a waterhole – being quite cheeky with the camera. See photos below.

WATER DRAGON AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2014

WATER DRAGON AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2014

WATER DRAGON AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2014

WATER DRAGON AT LITTLE CREEK WATERHOLE SEPTEMBER 2014

Caught the Lace Monitor / Goanna on wildlife camera (May 2015). It was right up near our house.

Goanna May 2015

Goanna May 2015