Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Little Reptiles in December - Brown-snouted Blind Snake, Verreaux's Skink & Copper Tailed Skink

While working outside in the yard, gardening and working on the tractor, we often come across some little reptiles that are accidentally unearthed.  This little copper-tailed skink came off second best after coming in contact with the tractor bucket yesterday and was unfortunately too injured to be helped.  The Three-clawed worm-skink is the second one we have come across here, this one was found at night on the grass.  The Brown-snouted blind snake was also "unearthed" while planting trees.  We have come across many different sized blind snakes over the years here, but often they burrow back into the earth so quickly that they are hard to catch to get a photograph of them and thus have gone un-identified.  J & B.

Copper-tailed Skink, who came off second best after an incident with "Fergie" our Massey Ferguson Tractor.

Copper Tailed Skink (Ctenotus taeniolatus) at Jarowair 31/12/13

Three-clawed Worm Skink (aka: Verreaux's Skink) (Anomalopus verreauxii)

Three-clawed worm skink at Jarowair Dec 2013.

Brown-snouted Blind Snake (ramphotyphlops wiedii) at Jarowair - Dec 2013

Brown-snouted Blind Snake (ramphotyphlops wiedii ) note it is sheding its skin. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Carpentaria Snake at Jarowair 09/12/13

It has taken a couple of weeks to add this post as we had to bring in the advice from a few experts regarding the identification of this snake we found at Jarowair on 09/12/13. We have just received confirmation that the snake is a Carpentaria Snake (cryptophis boschami).  We must thank Bob & Judy Irwin, Joy from Scales and Tails and John McGrath for their help with an accurate identification of this snake from my poor photos - your help was greatly appreciated.

The addition of this confirmed snake sighting at our patch brings our overall snake list count to #12 which is pretty exciting for a 19 acre patch of previously stick-racked woodlands.  View the list here.

Below is a re-count of how we came across this new species of snake at our patch and what I sent to the experts for identification help:

Brendon came across a “different snake” (one we haven’t seen at our place before) two days ago while digging holes to plant some gum trees.  The place in which he was digging, used to have a tree in it which had since died, so it wasn’t compacted dirt at all – but had rocks around it and plenty of rocks in it.  The snake was around 55cm+ and was very quiet in nature despite being dug up.  Initially we thought it may be a juvenile red-bellied black snake, because of the dark back and a strip of a redish colour near the belly, but I don’t think that it is one due to the shape of the head and colour of the head.  My other thoughts are (with our limited knowledge) are Eastern-small eyed snake or Carpentaria Snake.   The photos I took aren’t very good I am afraid as it was moving quickly and hard to focus on as it was almost dark.  I have attached the better ones for you to have a look at if you get a chance.  We were pretty excited to see another new species at our place, but don’t want to identify it incorrectly for our list of recorded sightings.  The snake ended up finding a gap between some rocks and totally disappearing so we filled the hole back in loosely to leave it be – without planting a tree there!

Carpentaria Snake at Jarowair 09/12/13

Carpentaria Snake at Jarowair 09/12/13.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Juvenile Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, juvenile 

Common Bronzewing

Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo

Mud-dauper Wasp on a branch above the dam.

St Andrew's Cross Spider - Photo by C.R. Gray

Monday, December 9, 2013

Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis) 08/12/13

Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis) Family: Gentianaceae. Flowering at Jarowair End of November - Early December.  The flowers are more "Hot Pink" than the purple depicted in the photographs I have taken. Very pretty and vibrant little flowers.  J.G.

Spike Centaury Wildflowers at Jarowair

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fringed Lily (Thysanotus tuberosus) 08/12/13

Yesterday I was thrilled to discover the Fringed Lily at Jarowair.  I haven't ever seen these before and found them mid-morning while mowing one of our walking tracks.  I marked the location of the flowers with a branch to come back to photograph them later, but by midday they had already almost closed up completely and didn't re-open for the rest of the day.  I returned today mid-morning with the camera, to not only see the three plants I had staked in full open flowers, but many more in the same area.  The Fringed Lily (Thysanotus tuberosus) from the Laxmanniaceae  is a grass-like herb said to live in moist sunny places amongst grasses.  The three petaled flowers with frilled edges only last for one day (most likely why we haven't seen them before).  The flowers are absolutely stunning and I now have a new favourite wildflower at Jarowair.  Judi.

Fringed Lily Flower that only last for one day at Jarowair 08/12/13

Cluster of Fringed Lily Flowers 

Fringed Lily

Closed Flowers of the Fringed Lily

Closed flowers of the Fringed Lily

Dollarbird's & Kingfishers

The Dollarbird's have been frequenting a hollow tree close to the house over the last few months.  Dollarbird's arrive to Northern and Eastern Australia in September each year to breed.  In March and April the birds return to New Guinea and the surrounding islands for the winter - lucky them!

We have also had the Chanel-billed Cuckoo's here early morning and late afternoons and I also saw for the first time here a Brahminy Kite soaring above the property - it was well in view and un-mistakable but by the time I assembled my camera it was far gone.

The Sacred Kingfisher's have also been busy ducking in and out of the termite mounds feeding their babies.

Gorgeous Dollarbird Pair at Jarowair 20/11/2013


Sacred Kingfisher calling out - early morning 08/12/13

Prickly Pear Tree - early morning with the sun coming through the trees.