The clouds rolled in late in the afternoon trapping a bit of warmth yesterdays sun, making for what seemed to be a good night out bushwalking. A few hours of trundling with head torch light, yielded a variety of frogs, spiders and other inverts. Not seen, but heard were also the distant thump of 2 swamp wallabies, and the squeeks of a bandicoot.
A quick overview of the bulk of the highlights from that walk, captions are brief because its 3am and I should probably get some sleep.
Nice walk around this morning up at Kariong Eco Garden catching up with Lisa there.
Been a while since seeing a Fence Skink, they used to seem more common ..though that’s probably observer bias.
The Cryptoblepharus skinks were revised in recent years by Paul Horner, often using smaller less visible to the naked eye from a distance characteristics to distinguish them, for some ID’s, requiring a hand lens to compare scale textures on their feet – without doing that. i’ll assume its C. pulcher – because its apparently the local species.
I was happy to appreciate this skink doing its thing without wrestling it, and it would probably of been too quick anyway, ..it was very lively. Should brush up on their distinguishing characteristics, it may mean I get to tick another species off without having to travel far.
Also saw a Caper white butterfly, Belenois java flitting about, the wind was pretty turbulent so some butterflies did not stay for long – also saw Cabbage White, Orchard Swallowtail, Common Crow and Australian Painted Lady butterflies but were too quick to be photographed today.
Today was a nice chaser to last nights walk, a good mix of species becoming more active.
One of the more recent milestones, has been a few encounters with Rough-scaled Snakes, as part of helping out with snake relocations – at Bateau Bay, NSW. This location, seems to be the furthest south of their distribution down the East Coast.
A front fanged, venomous snake which is medically significant.
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!