13 April, 2009

Death on the High Wire

This blog contains images which will upset you.

Many animals die on barbed wire fences every year. Bats and owls are the main victims.

This gliding possum, probably a Squirrel Glider, Petaurus norfolcensis, ran into the top wire of this gate and died a long painful death.

You can see how its gliding membrane became wrapped around the wire as it struggled to get loose.
The irony is that this farmer has wildlife friendly fencing. See the top wire on the fence is a plain, non-barbed wire. It was only the gate which had the barbs on the top wire.

Baby Tree-Kangaroo Strikes out

Imagine learning to walk in the trees? "It's OK Mum, I'm a big girl now!"
This delightful series was sent to me by my friend Sandy Carroll. She often sees Lumholtz's Tree-Kangaroos outside her bedroom window. Being able to watch then behave naturally is a rare privilege as these are shy creatures which are very aware of strangers in their forest."OK, now I've got this far what happens next?
"If I grab this vine over here will that help?"'Guess not!"
"Up sounds good."You can see that when climbing a vine, tree-roos use their arms to do most of the work and their hind feet act as clamps to stop them slipping down.
At my site the numbers have dropped since Cyclone Larry even though all my habituated animals survived the blow. there has been some social disruption with Jill being displaced by Sarah. I had never previously heard of a breeding female loosing her territory to another. Unfortunately Sarah does not sit in the open as often as Jill used to. Spider jumped out of a low tree when we were watching him last week. He went into a vine tangle so I am a bit worried about his health. We were not very close to him but as we had not been seeing him much lately, he may have been worried about us. Normally tree-kangaroos will jump if they feel threatened so it is best to give them plenty of space if they are not up high.

08 April, 2009

Birds on the move

But first a snake story. While taking a lunch break the other day I was sitting on the veranda with my back to the vege garden when I heard movement under my chair. This Yellow-faced Whipsnake had caught a small skink. The skink was dispatched and quickly eaten and my visitor moved off after more prey.
Bustards are back on the central part of the Atherton Tablelands. This was one of four in a peanut paddock on the south end of Marks Lane.
White headed Pigeons and Topknot Pigeons are visiting the Camphor Laurels in Yungaburra in flocks of up to 60 birds at the moment.
In the fruiting fig trees are Double-eyed fig-Parrots and Barred Cuckoo-shrikes.
Pacific Black Ducks do not migrate from here and some have ducklings. Most of the other water birds have moved further west to breed but it wont be long before they start to return.
It's good night from me and good night from him and good night from him and good night from him and good night from him.
Four Brown Gerrygones cuddled together for warmth and safety.