21st January 2016
BRUSHTAIL POSSUM HAS A STRESSFUL MORNING
A Kookaburra alerted me to the drama unfolding in the large hollow tree near our house yard this morning. The kookaburra's 'alarm' sounds had me look outside to see what was going on. The instant that I looked outside through the window, I saw a large brushtail possum race out of the top of the hollow tree and climb at a great speed to the top of the only branch. Straight away I looked at the other hollow entrances to the tree and saw the tail of a lace monitor hanging out of one of the holes. What continued was a rather chaotic stressful morning for the poor possum. I watched it clinging to the small branches at the top of the tree, while the Kookaburras continued to squark and the noisy miners let the possum know they were.
The goanna's head could be just seen in one of the lower holes. After a little while, I moved away from the tree and back towards the house. It wasn't long before the possum came back down the tree and started to inspect all of the hollows of the tree, this made me quite nervous, knowing that the goanna was still inside waiting! The possum ended up choosing a hollow on the opposite side of the tree, from the one the goanna had gone in (who knows if they connect or not on the inside!). Poor poss didn't end up having much rest though, as a Australian Mudlark decided that the possum shouldn't be there and started squarking at it and hovering outside the hollow. After a while, I couldn't see the possum inside the hollow entrance any more, and it wasn't too long until we watched the gonna emerge and escape down the side of the tree. I instantly recognized this local goanna as "stumpy", a large lace monitor with a severed tail. It didn't seem though that the goanna ended up with a possum meal however, so all ended well, at least for the possum.
I note that possums don't usually use this tree as a home, as we suspect it gets fairly wet due to being hollow at the top, I noticed though when photographing the animals, that a close-by possum box had fallen down from the tree during a wild storm on the weekend, and I hadn't noticed this before, no doubt this possum that lived there had to find somewhere else to reside.