Interrupting Breakfast

This pademelon was so engrossed in having breakfast the other morning that I was able to get up nice and close and get a decent photo before he/she noticed me and hopped away.

I often see these lovely animals on my walks at the local wetlands in the early morning or late evening.

A few interesting facts about the pademelon 

Common Name: Tasmanian pademelon (say it as “paddy-melon”)

Also Known As: Rufous wallaby

Scientific Name: Thylogale billardierii

Location: Tasmania, Australia

Habitat: Rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest

Diet: Herbs, green shoots, short grass

Predators: Tasmanian devils, spotted-tailed quolls, wedge-tailed eagles

Breeding: No specific breeding season however 70% of joeys are born in early winter; young stay in the pouch for 6 months and mature at 15 months; life span 5-6 years

 

A Day With Seahorses, Platypuses and Echidnas

I recently went out to a lovely spot called Beauty Point about 40 minutes drive from Launceston in Tasmania and visited Seahorse World and Platypus House.

Seahorse World was quite interesting and had plenty of seahorses to watch and discover.

There were a number of tanks full of baby seahorses. These were only a few centimetres big.

This is a White’s Seahorse, found in Sydney in Australia.

Here are two expectant fathers.

Here are some Pot Bellied Seahorses being fed brine shrimp.

This is the beautiful Weedy Sea Dragon.

Recently it was news headlines when Seahorse World announced a rare feat – a successful transfer of eggs from the female to the male. This has only been accomplished in captivity a handful of times.

Right next door to Seahorse World is Platypus House.

After a short video on platypuses and an introduction on the animal, we went into a room with a big tank where we got to watch Jupiter, the only male platypus there. He is 11 years old.  The guide fed him some food, including a yabby. Here is a video of Jupiter feeding and swimming around.

We were then ushered into another room where there were 3 tanks, each having a female platypus. The guide fed all three so we could watch the platypus feed and swim around. Here is a video of a female called Poppy.

I could watch her all day, it was so relaxing.

The last leg of the tour was a visit to the Echidna Garden, where three echidnas roamed the garden amongst our feet. What a treat!

Here is a video of an echidna eating. Check out their long pink tongue!

Here is a cute moment with the guide.

And here is a video of the echidnas wandering around among us.

This was a great day out and I recommend a visit to Seahorse World and Platypus House if you ever visit Tasmania. It gives you the opportunity to view some unique animals up close and learn about them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s Day Low Tide At The Wetlands

On a bright sunny summer’s day recently, I decided to try my luck birdwatching at Tamar Island Wetlands. I wasn’t expecting to see too much in the way of wildlife as it was quite a warm day and early afternoon with a low tide. I thought the majority of the birds would be hiding away in some shade somewhere, but I was quite surprised by what I found.

Low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
Several great egrets and a cormorant hanging out together
Chestnut teal having a quiet midday snooze
Grey teals snoozing nearby
Another image of low tide at Tamar Island Wetlands
A variety of birds in one spot – black swans, great egrets, chestnut teals, grey teals and a masked lapwing
A young Australasian swamphen, the parent was close by.
A pair of geese foraging.
Cracked dried mud
A muddy beaked masked lapwing (plover)
A lovely cool and shady spot next to the bird hide
A grey teal with something to say
One of the lovely views from the boardwalk.
White faced herons.
A pair of chestnut teals.
Mother swan with her growing babies
Another view of the wetlands

If you ever find yourself in the Launceston area, it’s worth a trip out to the Tamar Island Wetlands as you can see all kinds of birds anytime of the day and the views are beautiful.

 

 

Wildlife Spottings At The Wetlands

Now that daylight savings has started, I have decided to go for a walk almost everyday at the local wetlands. I find that walking helps to unwind from a day’s work and it feels good to get out in the fresh air. Also, it is good exercise and great for the mind and spirit, and it’s even nice to say hello to regular walkers and joggers or stop and have a chat with someone taking photos of the birds.

Here are some of the gems I have spotted on my walks at Tamar Island Wetlands.

Surprisingly, I have seen a small number of geese. These are likely domesticated escapees from people’s homes around the area. I have spotted 2 pairs but only one had these little golden cuties.

Sadly, none of the goslings have survived.

A plentiful bird at the wetlands is the black swan. I have identified 5 different families so far, all with babies of varying ages. It’s been nice to watch the little balls of fluff growing up. Here is one family.

And look at this adorable scene!

If I go walking early in the morning or late in the evening, I am usually lucky enough to see one of these lovely creatures – a pademelon!

In a previous post, I shared a photo of a Native Hen (or turbo chook) with half a dozen chicks that I came across in the car park. Sadly, there is only one chick left. Look how its grown!

Lately I have seen several Great Egrets fishing in the river. This one was fascinating to watch as it went after some food.

There was even a snake having a snooze by the boardwalk. Funnily enough, it was conveniently sleeping only 2 metres away from the snake warning sign so I knew it was a copperhead!

I was even lucky enough to see two Australasian Swamphen chicks up close. Aren’t they cute!

And finally, this is a video I took one afternoon of the 360 degree view from the end of the boardwalk at the Tamar River. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a magnificent view and well worth the walk. 🙂

What little gems of nature do you see on your daily walks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Visit To Tamar Island Wetlands

Just 10 minutes drive out of Launceston in Tasmania is the Tamar Island Wetlands.  I was looking forward to a nice day out birdwatching, however, it turned out to be an extremely cold morning and with only a little sunshine that was very weak so I didn’t stay as long as I had planned.

Sign near the entrance to the wetlands
A great cormorant sunning itself with rather cold looking groups of various ducks
A section of the boardwalk
A black swan foraging
Looking back to the Information Centre
Australian Shelduck
A bird’s eye view for these Australasian swamphens
Australasian swamphen
Swamp paperbark trees along the path to the bird hide
Bird hide
My first sighting of a wild Tamar wallaby. We surprised each other as I came out of the bird hide!
This swamphen was showing me the way!
Morning low tide looking back to the suburb of Riverside
Masked lapwing (plover)
White faced heron
Grey teals trying to keep warm in the cold
Further along the path, looking across the Tamar River on the left and the suburb of Riverside on the right
Great egret and a swamphen
Chestnut teals and grey teals trying to warm up in the early morning sun
More birds trying to keep warm. Who can blame them when it was only 6 degrees!
Grey teal

 

Female superb fairy wren
At this point I turned back as it was too cold for me. But I’ll be better prepared on my next visit.

The Tamar Island Wetlands is a great place to visit, whether it just be for a nice scenic walk or to try your hand at birdwatching. Entry fee is a few dollars donation and is definitely worth the small admission cost. Don’t forget to drop into the Information Centre there and chat to the friendly and helpful volunteers.

I can’t wait to visit again and see what wildlife I find! 🙂

Watching Devils At Tasmania Zoo

About a 25 minute scenic drive out of Launceston in Tasmania you will find Tasmania Zoo. The day I visited, it was a very cold winter’s morning, and most of the animals seemed to be hidden away sleeping and waiting out the cold. But there was plenty of action and entertainment from the six Tasmanian devils at the zoo.

For those who aren’t aware, Tasmanian devils are a native Australian animal and are endemic to Tasmania. They are critically endangered because of the terrible and fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease. For more details about this amazing species and its struggle to survive click here to read one of my earlier posts.

First up, here are some photos of the devils enjoying some winter warmth in the sunshine.

At one point two devils had something to say to each other.

Having a scratch

What a cutie!
What a face!
I smell food!
Where’s the food already!

One of the animal keepers turned up with a big bucket of pieces of wallaby for the devils to eat. Watching tassie devils eat is quite an experience. It’s noisy and looks violent at times, but they all work together tugging at the food to help break it up making it easier to eat. And they eat everything – fur and bones included!

I love the keeper’s tassie devil hat!

The hopping or jumping thing the devils do in this video is something I’ve never seen before, it was so funny. And that little opportunistic devil at the end of the video was quite devillish! 😀

It wasn’t too long before all the food had been eaten. One of the devils came up to the keeper for cuddles and we were able to have a quick pat of the devil while she was occupied playfully chewing on the keeper’s hand. Then she was put on the ground but she wanted some more attention!

Tasmanian devils are such fascinating creatures, I could watch them all day!

If you love devils as much as I do, why not consider joining the Tasmanian Devil Network? I’m the administrator of the group on Facebook and would love to have you on board. Click here to join or click here to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife Visitors in May 2018

May was a busy month for me as I had a lot going on, so I didn’t get as much opportunity to take photos of the visiting wildlife like usual. So here is a short list of some of my backyard visitors.

Kookaburra
Ladybird
European Honey Bee
Type of grasshopper
A type of moth
Hoverfly
A type of moth
A type of fly
Grey Butcherbird

This is my participation in a monthly event called Wildlife Wednesdays hosted by Tina of My Gardner Says… You can see the wildlife visitors of other participants here.

This is my last Wildlife Wednesday post for awhile, and I won’t be posting as often as I usually do for a bit. Due to a significant change in my personal circumstances, I have left the Gold Coast in Queensland and moved permanently to Launceston in Tasmania. I am starting a new life on my own here in Tassie so please bear with me while I settle in to a new job and new surroundings, and I hope to be back online regularly soon posting my wildlife experiences in Tasmania.

 

 

Mimicry of the Pied Butcherbird

Many Australians may be familiar with the little black and white pied butcherbirds that frequent parks and backyards and their beautiful bird song they have, but something I discovered recently was that they are mimics, and rather good ones at that!

Pied Butcherbird

One of my regular pied butcherbirds was visiting on the veranda and I was inside the house listening to it singing away merrily and then I thought I could hear other bird calls in amongst its tunes. Being curious, I grabbed my camera and went out onto the veranda and waited. After a bit, the bird started singing again and then I heard it sing a currawong call! I started filming and was blown away by all the different bird calls this pied butcherbird sang, it was amazing!

This little birdie sang for quite a long time, so I have just taken the last 2 minutes of the recording which shows the variety of bird calls it was imitating.  Have a listen for yourself:

No one believed me until I showed them my video. I have been visited by this bird a few times now on rainy days, and it is such a treat to listen to all its tunes. Maybe it gets bored and wants to entertain me! 😀