Saturday, January 30, 2016

Spotted Python

30th January 2016


We found this beautiful Spotted Python (Antaresia maculosa) on our driveway while we were heading out to go spotlighting elsewhere!  This one was a lot larger than the last few we have seen and looked very healthy.

J & B

Spotted Python at Jarowair 30th January 2016

Spotted Python at Jarowair 30th January 2016

Spotted Python at Jarowair 30th January 2016

Brown Jumping Spider in Macro

30th January 2016


I had been trying without success to take photos of the very fast Blue-banded Bees in the garden, so went for a walk to see what else I could come across.  I found this tiny brown Jumping Spider which was about 7mm long on a flower pod.  He also didn't keep still for very long, but I managed one photo with four of his eyes in focus.


Jumping Spider 30/01/16

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Possum has a stressful morning

21st January 2016


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.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Grey-crowned Babbler Family

12th January 2016


Lovely to have a visit from this Grey-crowned Babbler family one morning at Jarowair in January.  We only get visits from these happy family oriented birds on occasion, however were used to often see them on other properties and road verge trees on the way to our patch.  Unfortunately about a year ago though, a new local property owner cleared all of the understory including the babbler's "nest trees" on his land about away, and thus we do not see the birds as often now.  

Grey-Crowned Babblers are in extreme decline in other states of Australia and in 2009 Birds Queensland performed a project to establish the birds presence in South-East Queensland. Read more about the 2009 Grey-crowned Babbler Project here.


Grey-crowned Babbler Family at Jarowair January 2016

Grey-crowned Babbler Family at Jarowair January 2016

Grey-crowned Babbler at Jarowair

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Plum-headed Finch new for our list

09th January 2016


For the last two days we have seen Plum-headed Finches (Neochmia modesta) in the road verge grass, small native shrubs, and on a council reserve within 400m from our place. We had a good look at them two days ago, late evening and managed some blurry photos for a positive i.d.  This morning I got up early and went for a walk to see if I could find them again and manage a better photo.  I found them close to where they had been the last two days, with the Superb Blue Wren's, feeding low on grass seed.

This is the first time we have seen these birds in our area.  The Toowoomba Bird Observers have already had reports in the Toowoomba Region from the Lockyer Valley this season, however they felt it was an unusual sighting for the northern Highfields area.  Yay!  I hope they stay on.  (N.B. this is our first sighting locally of this bird, we have both only seen it previously in Texas on the QLD/NSW border in 2011 see post here).

J & B

Plum-headed Finches (Neochmia modesta)

Plum-headed Finches (Neochmia modesta)

Plum-headed Finches (Neochmia modesta)

Beautiful Lizards in January 2016

09th January 2016


Just a couple of the photos taken of different lizards taken at Jarowair within the first week of January 2016.  Eastern Striped Skink, seen basking on a pile of gravel (last recorded sighing here was on 20th August 2011), Cunningham's Skink, basking in the sun, juvenile Eastern Water Dragon, of which there are plenty around the edges of the little waterholes in the creek at the moment.

J & B

Eastern Striped Skink (Ctenotus robustus) 07/01/16

Juvenile Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii) 09/01/16

Cunningham's Skink (Ergenia Cunninghami) 07/01/16

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Vibrant Blue and Yellow Clown Bug

03rd January 2015


These brightly coloured bugs are nymph Clown Bug's (Amorbus robustus)  AKA Eucalyptus Tip Bug's and we found them on new growth of a young Ironbark Eucalptus Tree at Jarowair.  These bugs extract the sap from the eucalyptus trees, and they live in family clusters.  The bugs will change to a dull dark brown colour once they become adults.


Large Garden Orb Weaver spinning prey

02nd January 2016


We came across this large Garden Orb Weaver Spider (Eriophora transmarina)  last night at our patch, and watched it spectacularly catch an insect in it's web, then proceed to spin the silk to wrap it up.  They are such an amazing spider and this one was very healthy looking, in a massive web.

B & J