It has been a terribly long time since updating my blog, that is in the tradition of starting most diaries – we soon become so distracted by what we are doing that writing about it too can easily slip our mind.
These are one of our most common and smallest local frogs, and may breed in ephemeral soaks, including patches as compact as a tyre depression on a fire trail, which can make for easy observations should you be strolling along a trail at night, though, you may even find them active during the day in a warm sheltered spot – sitting still for a few minutes, they can return to calling and being active.
Bushwalking often rewards me with interesting wildlife, some of which is better enjoyed from a distance, like this young Red-bellied Black Snake, basking in the morning sunÂ beside a small, slow running stream. Even though it is young,Â it is still dangerously venemous & should be treated with caution.
A few days later, walking the same track I find a similar looking Red-Belly. There is a good chance it is here for the Common Eastern FrogletsÂ I had seen in the area.
Along another track in the same area I wasÂ lucky to seeÂ an older,Â larger Red-Bellied Black Snake. Perhaps a year old, it’s face has less brown on it.
I have seen a few Adult Red-bellies on my walks, slinking under lantana in the hopes of a meal of plump Antechinus, which I’ve seen bounding away clear of the dense cover – while the Red-belly can still be heard slowly probing around, still followingÂ it’s scent.
They are suprising great swimmers for land snakes,Â convenient ifÂ one of your favouriteÂ meals is frog, this one was disturbed from its hiding place under canoes where frogs were sheltering.
This Australian Bombardier Beetle, Pheropsophus verticalis wasfound beneath discarded plastic by the waters edge of an old quarry. This ground beetle possesses a chemical defence – chemicals are fired from the tip of it’s abdomen and combine in a chemical reaction that releases a burst of intense heat,Â smoke, an odd smell and if handling without gloves they will stain your fingers yellow for about a week. Anything looking to snack on this beauty would be left with a singed tongue and a mouthfull of horrible tasting smoke!
This tiny frog, a Common Eastern Froglet, is one of the many creatures I enjoy seeing living on the Central Coast. After rain they can be heard calling from the edges of temporary soaks, sheltering among the fringes of grasses around the waters edge.