On the weekend I was nearing the end of my usual Greens Bush circuit, when I heard a Crescent Honeyeater and stopped to find the bird in the high trees. Straight away I noticed a large grey shape in an Acacia tree. It is only the second Koala I have found on this circuit and like the other Koala this one was also in a non-eucalyptus tree. As I walked towards him to get a closer view he watched me, becoming quite alert, not the usual dopey, sleepy animal, and then assumed this odd position, leaning back out of the fork. I am not sure what it was going to do, drop, climb, stretch. I have not seen this behaviour or position before – (well obviously it is the drop position for the drop-bear). After a few photographs I backed away and let him get back to his nap – I was not going to fall for his trap.
Drop bear in position.
Koala, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic
Greens Bush is a great habitat for many bird and animal species and I am building a good list of birds but only a few mammals: Swamp Wallaby, Grey Kangaroo and a lone koala. I felt sure that there would be Antechinus (small marsupial hunter) somewhere in the National Park and it took 5 years to finally see four in one day in a small section of the forest in mid-summer. The pair below were running and chasing each other up the trunk of an old tree and along a dead branch. At one point the larger of the two (female?) carried up small branches/grasses in its mouth to what I assume to be a nest. The female can live several years while the male does not live past his first breeding season having mated until organ failure. Watching the energy of these two chase and wrestling up the tree trunk I can see how it might not end well for the male.
Brown Antechinus, Greens Bush, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Vic
While returning from my exploration of the fringes around the Tootgarook Swamp and photographing Striated Fieldwrens and Golden-headed Cisticolas I stood at the edge of the track looking into the swamp and my eye caught some movement at my feet. It was a native rat – an Australian or Eastern Swamp Rat (Rattus lutreolus). It is the first time I have seen a native swamp rat. I have seen and photographed Rikalis (native water rats) a few times but never a swamp rat. It took me a little while to convince myself I was not looking at the standard European black or brown rat. Its behaviour was odd – it seemed to totally ignore me no matter how close I got and only reacted when I made a decent noise (dropping to my knees with all my gear clanking around me). I saw that it had a deep wound on its side – it looked to be healing but may have resulted in unusual behaviours. With the raptors circling above I doubt it will live long coming into the open. While ignoring me it fed on small grass seeds and dug up roots at the base of the grass.
Swamp Rat, Tootgarook Wetlands, Tootgarook, Vic
The tail is much shorter on a Swamp Rat compared to a Black Rat.
I reckon the roo was stunned by my stalking prowess. Usually they are quite shy and will bound off as soon as they spot me trudging along the track with all my gear. I do try to walk quietly in case I find a Bassian Thrush or another ground bird on the path. More likely than being impressed, I think this tall male was quite confident that he could take me so he just waited for me to stop walking and then just ambled across the path and away into the forest.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Mornington Penninsula National Park, Vic
Posted in Animal, Victoria
Tagged Animal photography, Australia, Eastern grey Kangaroo, Greens Bush, Grey Kangaroo, kangaroo, Mornington Peninsula, Mornington Peninsula National Park, Nature Photography, Photography
While driving along one of the forest roads in the Muckleford State Forest in Newstead, I drove along the edge of one of the homestead paddocks and noticed a very odd sheep amongst the flock.
Strange sheep of the Muckleford Forest
An old homestead
Posted in Animal, Black & White, Victoria
Tagged abandoned, alpaca, Australia, Muckleford State Forest, Nature Photography, Newstead, Photography, Sheep, Victoria
When I visit Newstead, I like to drop by Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve in Yandooit. One of the spots in the Reserve is called Pickpocket Diggings. It is an old gold mining area with many mullock heaps. It is a popular area for gold detecting enthusiasts. On most occasions I seem to be able to find Yellow-footed Antechinus, a carnivorous marsupial mouse, hopping across the path to trees in broad daylight. They dont seem to be bothered by people that much and I got pretty close. I watched this tiny hunter looking for insects at the base of a tree and when it caught something it ran back to its home in an old tree stump. The males only live less than a year and die out in a super charged breeding frenzy while the females live on to raise their pups.
Yellow-footed Antechinus, Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, Sandon, Vic
Yellow-footed Antechinus home
At the Wilson Botanic Park last week, we noticed that there were dozens of turtles in the water and on the rocks sunning themselves. I watched as a pair fought it out for king of the rock…in slow motion…
Long necked Turtles, Wilson Botanic Park, Berwick, Victoria
Making his move…
Almost got it…
ohh pretty, Lotus Flower
a big splash…and one remained, oblivious to all the action…