Saturday, March 1, 2014

Brown version of a Pale-headed Snake? 24/02/14

I came across this snake at Jarowair one night during this week and it initially seemed different to others we have seen here previously because of its intense brown colour and patterns.  It was around 60cm long.  On review of the photos I took and after going through Steve Wilson's Complete guide to Reptiles of Australia Book - the pattern of this snake and the shape of the head and the temperament  is identical to the pale-headed snake which we have seen plenty of here before (see previous posts here), it was the brown colouring that was remarkably different.   On review of previous photos we have taken (there are a few missing from this blog which we must add), the pale-headed snake we saw in 2010 was more brown than grey, which I hadn't realized until reviewing the photos. All of the other pale-headed snakes we have seen here of different sizes have been text-book grey colours with the white/cream patch behind the head.  We have sent the photos off to a snake expert for their opinion and will update this when we find out more.  B

Brown version of a Pale-headed Snake at Jarowair 24/02/14




Monday, February 24, 2014

Echidna covers a lot of ground at Jarowair 24/02/2012

Lately I have had a walk around the property at night with a torch having a look at what nocturnal wildlife is around.  Most nights I see an echidna out foraging and am amazed at the amount of ground these slow moving animals cover during the night and of the amount of noise they make digging the earth up.  They are especially busy after some rain.  It would be interesting to know how many echidna's we have here, but I suspect I see the same one most nights in close-by locations. B

Echidna by torchlight at Jarowair 24/02/14


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Natural Tree Regeneration at Jarowair

After my last post comparing the tree growth of planted eucalyptus at Jarowair (see previous post here), I decided to take some other photos and compare them to previous ones taken here.  The block of land we purchased was ex-cattle grazing land and had been stick-raked prior to purchase in 2005.  The tree growth shown in the pictures below is natural regeneration. It goes to show that nature does respond when left to do it's own thing. 
 J & B.

Natural Tree Grown over 6 years 2008 - 2014 at Jarowair.
Natural tree regeneration over 6 years since the photo on the left was taken in 2008.  The nesting box you can see in the tree in the centre of both photos is now home to a squirrel glider family.

"Frog Dam".  This little dam/pond was existing already on the property on purchase.  The grasses and common rushes around it have grown substantially along with the small native trees.  We regularly top this little dam up with bore water in dry periods for the wildlife to drink from.


Success of the planted Koala Trees at Jarowair 7 years on

Just over seven years ago we planted a group of feed trees for the local Koalas at Jarowair.  The trees we planted were Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) which were purchased from the then Crows Nest Shire Council Nursery which was managed by local tree expert Steve Plant.  He had advised us on the correct trees to plant for our area and the importance of planting quality trees that were cultivated from local seed which as standard practice then at the nursery.

This week I was having a good look at these trees planted at the beginning of 2007 when I went to cut some branches for a local Koala Carer. I was astounded by how high they actually were and decided to dig out some old photos and take some new ones today for comparison.

The only photo I could find of when the trees were first planted was from 6th of February 2007 when the dam flowed for the first time after the Council ran their new Artesian bore for testing it for a few days after it was installed not far from our property. The trees can hardly be seen as they were only tube stock when first planted, compared to today a mere seven years later they are certainly large enough for koalas to climb and feed from them.  The trees have survived remarkably well with little love or attention, they have endured many years of drought along with a few being washed away and knocked over in the 2011 floods.  The success of these trees has to be because of the original quality of the trees and the advice from Steve on which variety to plant in our area.  I look forward to seeing how they look in another seven years!  Now to plant some more!

J & B
2007 - 2014 Eucalyptus tereticornis from the Crows Nest Council Nurser - you can see the same pile of logs in the background of the location.

7 years of tree growth - (on the left) they can hardly even be seen they are so small and today (on the right) they are big enough for Koala's to climb.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Barking Gecko with original tail - first sighting in years.

We haven't seen a Barking Gecko (Thick-tailed Gecko) (Underwoodisaurus milii) at Jarowair for a few years we believe.  Last night while our spotlighting looking for anything interesting, Brendon spotted this little guy in the grass.

Thick-tailed Gecko's or Barking Gecko's are a clawed Gecko, meaning that they can't climb glass or other smooth surfaces, so you won't see them on the side of the house.  They eat insects and spiders and are extremely tolerant of the cold weather.  Like all gecko's the barking gecko can drop it's tail when scared and then grow a new one - known as a regenerated tail.  The original Tail is black with several pale bands -as was the one we saw tonight.  A regenerated tail will be stubbier and have a slight pattern.  During the hot weather they shelter underground and during winter bask between and on rocks.

 They are a spectacular gecko and this one was relatively quite while I took it's photo.  I don't think I have ever added a photo of one to the blog before this, however we have certainly seen a few over the years.  The very first one Brendon saw was years ago before we were living here, he had moved something in the shed and underneath was a very unhappy Barking Gecko.  It proceeded to hiss and do mock charging at him along with backflips and a barking noise to show how unhappy it was to be disturbed!  He said it was hillarious watching this little gecko defend its territory.  We have certainly seen others over the years, mostly in the shed, but had certainly noticed their absence.  It was wonderful to see this one last night and to know that they are still residing here. B& J

N.B.  Something of Interest in regards to the Barking Gecko's Scientific Name of Underwoodisaurus milii from the Pilbara Pythons website: "Despite their name, they are usually found under rocks rather than wood. The name Underwoodisaurus means “Underwood's” and refers to a man by the name of Underwood!"

Barking Gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii) at Jarowair 21/02/14

Thick-Tailed Gecko aka Barking Gecko 21/02/14

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Eastern Grey Kangaroo's and those Boxing Red-Necked Wallabies again 18/02/14

There have been some really large Eastern Grey Kangaroo's around our patch lately, in particular one very large male.


Eastern Grey Kangaroo's at Jarowair 18/02/14

Below a sequence of photos taken from up on the veranda of Red-necked wallabies boxing while another casually ate grass close by! 18/02/14






Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bird Observers come for a Glider Spotting Outing at Jarowair 15/02/14

After seeing from 4 up to 12 sugar gliders and squirrel gliders in a huge flowering gum tree at Jarowair this week, we invited the local Bird Observers group members to a night outing to spotlight a few of these beautiful little creatures - while we were confident they would show up.  Including our little family 12 members set off at dusk with many torches on the humid night in hope of seeing the gliders emerge from their hollows and nesting boxes.  We saw up to 6 Gliders a combination of both Sugar and Squirrel Gliders with one in particular posing very nicely in a low tree at the end of our walk, for us to observe for quite some time and to take a few photos.

As is the case when you plan these things - all of the glider's we saw were in different trees rather than the one we expected to see them in - but we were glad to see quite a few of these beautiful animals.

Along with the gliders we were able to show off a few of our local frogs including:

Ornate Burrowing Frog,
Spotted Marsh Frog
Broad-palmed Rocket Frog
Eastern Sedgefrog
Common Green Tree Frog
Bleating Tree Frog
Stony Creek Frog

It was a pleasant evening and concluded with tea coffee and refreshments on the veranda and conversations about everything wildlife. It was great to share our interests with other like-minded people.

J & B.




just hanging around...

Squirrel Glider at Jarowair 15/02/14

Moon through the trees during the outing.

Stony-creek Frog at Jarowair 15/02/14