Saturday, September 26, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
It's not often that you see koalas outside the local forests, but this one was climbing a tree as I was driving by. They seem to travel quite some distances in search of food, since they only eat the leaves of certain species of eucalypt and even then the nutrients in the soil have to be right so that the leaves suit them. Koalas must have a very peculiar metabolism, since they're the only vertebrate species capable of eating eucalyptus oil.
These large black skinks come onto the paved veranda when it's warm and quiet. They like to live under rocks or large pot plants, if there's an opening that they can crawling into. During winter we rarely ever see them. We also have numerous smaller lizards, most of which are brown. On very rare occasions a goanna passes through.
Mount Worth State Park is a forest that was logged during the early 20th century and has now regrown into a dense temperate rainforest. Being largely on the southern slopes of the mountain, it's gullies and forest floor are protected from the sun, so it stays very wet in the cooler months - perfect for fungi. Unfortunately, these photos didn't focus properly, but they give the idea.
I caught this shot while driving through the Strzelecki countryside. One sees kestrels and falcons sitting on fence posts every so often, but if you stop to take a photograph they quickly fly away. This one was a lucky shot from a distance.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
This echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) was crossing a road near Ruby. When it realised I was nearby it buried itself in some leaves by the road, leaving only its spikes visible, as you can see. No wonder they've survived so well despite the invasion of humans, foxes and feral dogs and cats into their habitats. In fact, humans seem to have benefited them in a way, because they like to search for ant nests in the partially cleared land along roadsides. Strangely enough, you rarely see one killed by a car, as opposed to the poor old wombats, who get slaughtered on our roads despite being nocturnal.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Once in a while we have Wedge-Tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) circling above the garden. Unfortunately they fly too high to get a good photo without a telescopic lense, but even the silhouette is beautiful to behold. Also known as the Eaglehaw, they are the largest bird-of-prey in Australia and the most common species of eagle in the world.
These are photos from last year of the local King Parrots (Alisterus scapularis) and Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans) getting accustomed to the temporary bird-feeding tray we set up in front of the house. The King Parrots are the brighter green birds with red or orange bellies. The rosellas with some green plumage are females or juvenile males. See a later post for pics of the permanent bird feeder. We also have a few trays hanging under the eaves of the house.