Remote Camera and the Fallen Tree

When we checked one of the cameras after some of the recent windy weather, we arrived at the site to find it had had a close call with the base of a fallen tree landing only inches in front of our precious camera.

Figuring the the tree would be completely blocking the line of sight for the camera it was thought that there was no point leaving it in its current position. So the camera was relocated. 

Later while checking the results computer we found there had been some interesting activity at the site with passing Echidna’s and Bandicoots and a Male Lyrebird strutting around and calling.

Lyrebird
Nice shots of this male Lyrebird before the tree fell over and blocked the view.

After the tree fell we were not expecting much but the disturbance and obviously caused interest in feeding opportunities for some fauna. Antechinus and Eastern Whip Birds featured in a number of shots foraging in the rotten wood at the base of the fallen tree. As the tree was very close to the camera the shots are a little out of focus but they do give us a good look at the habits of species we would not have seen without the presence of the camera.

Antechinus Close Up
Antechinus Close Up foraging on newly fallen tree base.
Eastern Whip Bird - Psophodes olivaceus
This Eastern Whip Bird (Psophodes olivaceus) was very interested in the base of this newly fallen tree, it seemed to be having a feast.

Tarra Valley – Remote Camera Site

We recently moved one of our cameras down to a site in the Tarra Valley section of the park, to get a better idea of what wildlife is hanging around there. After the camera was checked the first time we had plenty of shots of Swamp Wallabies but nothing else apart from foxes. The camera was then moved a few metres to a new position where it could be set closer to the ground and the difference in the number of species photographed was quite remarkable. There are some great Long-nosed Bandicoot photos along with Antechinus and Rattus pictures, an Echidna and Possums (Not certain whether they are the Common Brush Tailed Possum of the Mountain Brush Tail (Bobuck) or whether we have both, The Bobuck’s have smaller more rounded ears.

Unfortunately there are still plenty of introduced predators at this site with Foxes and Feral Cats present. We have been recording quite a few cats with our monitoring lately.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2012 Tarra Bulga National Park Lyrebird Survey

It’s on again. The Friends of Tarra Bulga are looking for interested volunteers to participate in our Annual Lyrebird Survey on Saturday June the 2nd. It involves an early start, people need to be at the Tarra Bulga National Park at 6am so we can get organised to get to our monitoring positions before sunrise. The survey itself only takes half an hour and after that a cooked breakfast is on the menu. If you would like to come along you need to contact ranger Craig Campbell on 5172 2508 or email craig.campbell@parks.vic.gov.au. Wear warm clothing, bring a watch, a torch and a compass (if you have one).

Superb Lyrebird - Menura novaehollandiae
Superb Lyrebird – Menura novaehollandiae – All ready to be counted!

Agile Antechinus

This little critter nearly went by unnoticed until we went back through some remote picks and spotted it here. It is an Agile Antechinus – Antechinus agilis. They mainly feed on invertebrates such as spiders and beetles. Like all antechinuses, the Agile Antechinus has a short and violent breeding season, after which the males all die.

Agile Antechinus - Antechinus agilis
You might have to look closely to find this little Antechinus

Wombats in Tarra Bulga

A very common site in the Strzelecki Ranges, the Common Wombat – (Vombatus ursinus) is mostly nocturnal and shelters in large burrows. The single young leave the pouch around 6-9 months of age and follow the mother on foot until they are fully weaned at about 20 months old. They only produce one young every 2 years. They feed on grasses, sedges and tubers. Be on the look out for them on the roads at night, They have absolutely no road sense and are likely to run straight in front of your vehicle if startled.

2011 Lyrebird Count

Lyrebird - Male with tail in full display
Lyrebird – Male with tail in full display

We had a great turn out for the annual lyrebird survey on June 4thwith 28 volunteers turning up. This included 8 scouts from Sale and their leaders and it was great to see a number of new volunteers.

Fortunately the rain held off but windy conditions meant that listening out for Lyrebird calls was a little tricky. People in more sheltered positions were lucky to hear good numbers of birds calling but people in the outlying areas e.g. Ranger Craig (stationed at the depot) did not hear as much of a chorus of calls as he would have hoped. A number of the scouts were very excited at the number of birds they heard and did extremely  well to locate their stations in thedark given at least one marker post had been pulled out of the ground and hidden in the scrub prior to the survey. Evidently the scouts had a great time as they indicated they would be back next year to have another go.

A superb first up breakfast was provided by the new proprietors of the guest house (Nic and Steve) as a follow up to their great effort for the annual friend’s dinner. Thank you to Loy Yang Power for donating some funds to support the breakfast.  It is probably a good thing that the count only happens once a year given the early start but it is certainly a great event, with the highlight certainly being the experience of hearing the wake up calls of the birds as the sun rises in the rainforest.Lyrebird

If you would like to hear about upcoming activities such as the upcoming 2012 Lyrebird Count – please submit your details in the form below.