White Kangaroos!

A friend at work told me about a spot near my home where there were some white kangaroos, so of course I had to go take a look.

Sure enough, only minutes in the car from my house, I came across a property with a number of kangaroos including white ones, as well as a few emus.

I managed to see 4 white kangaroos, technically they are albino as they are white with pink eyes. I was able to capture 3 of them in one shot.

This particular one was enjoying a grooming session.

 

There were also some grey kangaroos there.

And I spotted a few emus.

I don’t know if these animals are free ranging and just like to hang out here, or whether they are being kept by the people who live there, but in any case, it was certainly a treat to spend some time watching them.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possum Screamfest

This is a video I took of some brushtail possums who live in my laundry. You will see a mother possum called Chloe and her joey, and there is also a smaller joey who was in the possum box on its own.

On this occasion, two joeys were screeching at each other, why, I’m not sure as I’ve never seen this before. Maybe they were two young males trying to assert their authority over the other, or perhaps they just liked to hear their own voices.

I took my cue from the mother possum who sat calmly eating some banana while this was all going on, seemingly ignoring the young ones carry-ons. Even so, I stood well back, not wanting to accidentally get in the middle of any fight that might develop.

Finally they noticed the banana that I was waving at them and the screeching suddenly stopped. I tossed up a few pieces of banana, then within seconds  this happened –

All is quiet once again. 🙂

 

 

 

Wildlife Visitors in April 2018

I was somewhat busier than normal in April so didn’t have as much opportunity to take many photos of the wildlife visitors, so I only have a few to share with you on this occasion.

Here are two sulphur crested cockatoos, eyeing me off and walking up and down the veranda, probably wanting to have a chew on the wooden railing when I’m not looking!

Two sulphur crested cockatoos up to no good

I saw quite a lot of these grey butcherbirds, which upset the pied butcherbirds so I was an audience a number of times for some aerial combat between the two species. Lots of noise and flicking of wings but I didn’t notice anyone actually getting hurt.

Grey butcherbird

There were so many rainbow lorikeets around, word must have got out about our feeding station.

Rainbow lorikeets
A loving pair

They would gather in growing numbers in the gum tree by the house squawking and carrying on and then continued the din while they ate up the feed in record time.

There was lots of nocturnal activity from the regular brushtail possum visitors. There was plenty of trampling along our roof, running up and down the veranda, screeching and hissing coming out of the darkness, and in the mornings tufts of possum fur would be seen.

Here’s one of the quieter times. I shot this quick video through a glass sliding door so as not to disturb them.

This is Sassy and her joey.

And here’s George in a gum tree (complete with a bush cockroach!).

And then Mummy possum came to visit. Mummy is the loveliest possum ever. Interestingly, she did not have a joey this year. She has to be at least 9 years old and maybe too old to breed now.

When I noticed her at the door, I tried to go out with some peanuts but she wouldn’t let me as she was after the food so I had to put the container in front of her and start to gently push her away from the door so I could get out.

And then our old cat Basil woke up and came over to see what was going on. The container of nuts was shoved outside real quick and the door closed!

When I put the cat away in a room and was able to get outside without letting the possum inside, I put some nuts out for her to eat and she let me pat her for a bit. She is such a gentle creature.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my backyard wildlife visitors.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildlife Visitors in January 2018

male eastern water dragon red chest

January was a busy month for me as I was taking on extra work on weekends, but I still managed to see plenty of wildlife visitors in my backyard, some of which are featured here.

The kookaburra family only has one baby this year, and they have been visiting quite a lot. Here’s a photo of the baby (not so little anymore!) with one of the parents on the left.

kookaburras in a gum tree

Here it is again looking very hungry.

kookaburras in a gum treeI was fortunate one day to see the young one being fed a mouse, so if you would like to see pictures click here and if you would like to see the young kookaburra eating some leftover prawns I had one day click here.

The backyard was also a abuzz with the arrival of some blue faced honeyeaters. Apparently they like the flowers on the banana tree.

The rainbow lorikeets have increased in numbers again, possibly food was getting scarce since we only had the briefest drop of rain all month. And they have been cooling off in our roof guttering again. I think the water is cool because it’s run off from the air conditioner, and as you can see in the video below, they are thoroughly enjoying themselves!

I also got to see more of the eastern water dragon. Late one afternoon I spied him warming himself on the concrete, his big red chest on display. Doesn’t he look magnificent?!

male eastern water dragon red chestThis guy also turned up unexpectedly one day to eat some leftover prawns along with the kookaburras, click here to see pictures.

A visitor we don’t see very often was this big guy – a goanna, or lace monitor, as it’s also known.

goanna lace monitor in treeThis goanna caused quite a stir when he made an appearance. You can see more photos and video in my earlier post here.

My little posse of possums seems to be ever growing. This photo is of Sassy (the one who has her tongue sticking out all the time) and she has a joey as you can see.

Sassy munching food on the roof. You can just see a joey’s leg sticking out of the pouch.

And this is no kookaburra hanging out in the kookaburra nesting box, but at least it’s being used!

possum in kookaburra nesting box

This is newcomer Minnie and she has an older joey with her. But the young one must be quite a handful because most nights there is such a loud screeching coming from the box. I went out with a torch one night to investigate in case there was an unwelcome visitor causing trouble, but it was just Minnie screaming at her joey in the box. Maybe she’d had enough of his whining to go out and play and sent him to the naughty corner.

And this possum was too far away to tell who it was.

brushtail possum in box

brushtail possum in box

But he or she likes their new home.

And lastly, I’d like to share a few short clips of one of my favourite possums, Chloe, who has a young joey. In my last monthly wildlife round up post I shared some images of the glimpses I got of the tiny joey, well, now it has grown. Here they both are on 6th January –

Isn’t that little one adorable? It’s so young it doesn’t even resemble mum yet!

And here they are on 28th January –

You can see that the joey has more fur on and actually looks like a possum now. It’s also starting to investigate its surroundings, from the safety of mum’s back of course!

 

Thanks for reading about my backyard wildlife visitors! 🙂

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.