Sunday, August 10, 2014

Micro snails in macro

By chance, I spotted these tiny snails in a potted plant at our patch and decided to test out my rarely used macro lense - it doesn't disappoint!  I will admit that holding the camera still to take these photos of this tiny creature was rather challenging however. The snail was only a couple of millimeters wide.


Snail Photo - cropped to zoom in.

Original photo (pre-crop) of the snail, size comparison with an Australian 5c coin.

Australian 5c coin in my hand - showing the size of this small coin for overseas followers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Antechinus family has moved in

So it seems over the last few days that we were not blessed with the presence of just one Yellow-footed Antechinus in the house (see previous post here), but possibly a whole family.  In the last few days we have caught three more in the catch-them-alive trap after hearing or seeing a glimpse of something in the house!  We wondered jokingly if it is the same one returning after being released, but somehow imagine there is possibly a whole little family that have headed inside for the winter.  For those who aren't familiar with this little animal, the Yellow-footed Antechinus is a pouched native Australian Marsupial that often can have the misfortune for being mistaken as a mouse.

Jude decided to take some video of the release of one of the antechinus captured in the pantry, and as blogger seems to distort our video images, we have decided to start a new project of a you-tube channel for video footage from our patch.  We look forward to sharing some of the interesting footage we have taken over the years, including some great camera trap images taken recently.  Please excuse our amateur video recording and making skills made using our son's ipod touch!  B & J

#2 Yellow-footed Antechinus at Jarowair prior to release (14th July 2014)

#3 Yellow-footed Antechinus prior to release back to the wild, 16/07/14

#3 Yellow-footed Antechinus prior to release back to the wild 16/07/14

A fourth Antechinus was re-loctated to the wild on 17th of July 2014, however we decided not to photograph this one... how many photos of a cute marsupial in a trap can you take! - J.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Golden Whistler at Jarowair

I was thrilled to spot this beautiful Male Golden Whistler in a small Ironbark Tree at Jarowair last week! We have never seen them on our patch of land before (have seen them on neighbouring thickly treed property). I managed a couple of photos before it disappeared into thick grasses nearby.  Finally the small birds are starting to come to our patch.  Photos of other small birds photographed recently to come in a separate post.   J.G.

Golden Whistler at Jarowair 23/06/14

Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday 02/07/14

There's an Antechinus in my Kitchen 26/06/14

After discovering some traces in my pantry up to 22ml long, that were clearly not from a house mouse, I realized that one we had a little native visitor hiding inside somewhere and that it was in-fact a rarely seen Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes).  I set the "catch them alive trap" with peanut butter and placed in the pantry overnight and sure enough, in the morning we found a very unhappy female Yellow-footed Antechinus inside.  I have heard before about antechinus' coming inside during winter, but this is a first for us and I must admit she was far more welcome than a traditional house mouse!  After taking a couple of photos through the cage trap, she was released back outside in a thickly grassed area where there are plenty of hollow logs on the ground and she happily scampered into one.  This is only the second time we have been able to photograph one, although we have witnessed one previously running down a tree trunk and into a hollow log on the ground.  See previous post here.

Yellow-footed Antechinus have a diet of Insects, flowers, nectar, rodents and even small birds at times.  They breed from late winter to spring and the male's die after mating!  They have a grey head with a white eye-ring and orange-brown coloured sides and have a poorly developed pouch.  (see previous post that shows pouch and pouched young).  They are mainly nocturnal and their biggest threats are cats.  Droppings of adults are long, pointed and up to 22mm by 3mm wide (see image below).

(INFORMATION SOURCE:  Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - A Queensland Museum Guide, Field Guide to Australian Mammals by Cath Jones & Steve Parish.)

B & J

Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes)

Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) The pouch skin folds could be seen under the antechinus but are not obvious in this photo.

Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) (You can just see the white rings around it's eyes in this image)

Antechinus Evidence in the Pantry  (easily distinguished from a house mouse scat)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nesting Box Fundraiser at World Environment Day Toowoomba 01 June 2014

Tomorrow is the United Nations, World Environment Day 2014. This year's them is "Raise your voice not the sea level".  This year's annual event at Lake Annand Park, Mackenzie St, Toowoomba is being held tomorrow Sunday 1st June from  Brendon and I are attending the event and have a small stall as volunteers with Retun to the Wild Inc. Org.  We will be selling custom made wildlife nesting boxes (that Brendon has spent months making) with all profits going to Return to the Wild for Koala Rehabilitation on the Darling Downs.  The nesting boxes are made from high quality materials and will be an ideal home for a possum, glider, bird and many other wildlife species.

Did you know that it is estimated that around 400 species of Australian Native Fauna use tree hollows?
It takes more than 100 years for eucalyptus trees to develop tree hollows suitable for occupancy by vertebrates!  
Natural Tree hollows are declining because of urbanization and tree clearing.  You can supply a hollow home for wildlife by installing a nesting box.  (Information from Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland)

The event has some great attendees this year with guest speakers including  Nina Woods from the Condamine Alliance, Sea Shepherd's Bob Watson will outline their campaigns and Rod May will talk about the proposed  detention dams in Garnet Lehmann Park and Ballin Drive Park. Nina will give an opportunity to discuss further at the Q&A session, as will Dianne Lukes from the Toowoomba Esperanto Society.

Stalls on the day include:
There will be live entertainment, performances and music throughout the day along with various food stalls.

Weather wise - The Bureau of Meteorology website states,"Partly cloudy. Winds easterly 15 to 20 km/h becoming northeasterly and light early in the morning." Temperatures are Min. 13    Max 20.
So it looks all clear for a great day outdoors for Toowoomba's World Environment Day from 9:30 til 4:00 pm.

See you there
J & B

Some of the Jarowair Wildlife Nesting Boxes for sale at World Environment Day - Lake Annand Toowoomba Sunday 1st June 2014.  All money raised goes to Return to the Wild Inc.Org for Koala Rehabilitation on the Darling Downs

Brendon at work building the Jarowair Wildlife Nesting Boxes for sale at the 2014 World Environment Day Toowoomba at Lake Annand Sunday 1st June.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Return of the Pacific Baza's

We were on our way out for the afternoon when Brendon spotted at least three Pacific Baza's (Aviceda subcristata) (aka Crested Hawk's) in a group of ironbark trees at our patch.  We have not witnessed them here for almost four years (see previous posts here), although we have seen them within a few kilometers of home.  These are some of the many photos I took before we had to rush off.  I couldn't decide which one I like the best, so have added a few. They are such a beautiful bird and so very quiet.  I noticed this time that often launch themselves into thick foliage with their wings out and land awkwardly on a branch.  I have looked this up and apparently they sometimes they crash into the foliage, presumably to disturb their prey. Hope they stay around and we see them more often.

B & J.

(Information source:

Pacific Baza's at Jarowair 25/05/14

This is photo of the awkward landing in which they launch themselves into the tree foliage. 

Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday 16/07/14

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cockateil's checking out the hollows at Jarowair 13/04/14

We don't often get visits from Cockateil's, but these ones were checking out the popular hollow in the large dead tree near the house on an overcast day.  It was good to see them back again and to hear their lovely chatter.

B & J