• Angela Wallis Moore

Wildlife Central

Updated: Nov 4

I have the good fortune to live in a heritage-listed wildlife resort. It's a humble place and a simple lifestyle, but the environment is a source of wonder and delight as each day provides something new and intriguing. Under this new category on my blog, I'll share stories and images of the creatures in whose world I have made my home - the kangaroos, possums, birdlife, bats, and reptiles - and hope you will enjoy these glimpses into the wonders of rural Australia.


KANGAROOS

Over the months since I moved here, I've enjoyed watching the kangaroos and joeys, especially the mother and youngster who spend most nights foraging in my garden. They're endearing beings with their soft fur and sweet faces, and the joey's antics are often hilarious.




POSSUMS

I'm very fond of possums. We usually see two main species: the brushtail and the ringtail. The brushies are solid little creatures with the eponymous bushy tail, while the ringtails are small and slender, with long, narrow tails tipped with while.

Each evening, there is a loud thud outside, as my local friendly brushtail jumps from her tree onto my roof. She then proceeds to the veranda, hoping for a slice of apple, and I'm happy to obliged. She's very sweet.


Last night, she arrived with her baby clinging to her back. I hope to get a picture of them next time, if I'm quick enough.


BIRDLIFE

Then there are the birds. I'm amused by the lorikeet who brings his mate to my door (literally - he perches on the security screen.) and will jump onto my wrist to share my apple.

Eastern rosellas and galahs take their turn at the bird table, brightening the day with their gorgeous plumage.




And then ... there's my friend, the currawong, a beautiful pied bird with a bright yellow eye. A very sophisticated individual, he brought me gifts of toast and a chicken bone, clearly realising I'd reciprocate with offerings from my kitchen. Of course, I oblige, and now, if I put out some chopped apple or tiny cubes of cheese, he'll perch on the railing, watching me with one golden eye, while he eats. He invariably leaves me a token of regurgitated palm nuts and I don't have the heart to tell him I'd rather he didn't.




As for the brush turkey, the less said the better. He is very cunning, resists all attempts to discourage him, and makes a dreadful mess of the garden. But it's his home, too, so I do my best to be tolerant.



Now, a family of koels has moved in, much to my consternation. They're handsome birds: the male has glossy black plumage and bright red eyes, while the female is beautifully speckled and striped. However, they are cuckoos and they lay their eggs in currawong nests. Goodness knows what the next generation will be.





Yesterday, a kookaburra perched on my veranda and called me. I hope he visits again!




Meanwhile, flocks of yellow-tailed black cockatoos and white corellas fly overhead, their cries echoing across the park, while, on the golf course, multi-hued Australian bee-eaters dig their burrows and raise their chicks in the bunkers and the rough.



REPTILES

At night, all is quiet except for the roar of the surf and the chirping of geckos. These tiny little lizards, an invasive species which arrived from Asia in the 1980s, possess vocal strength out of all proportion to their size. I'm very fond of them, and perfectly happy when they venture into the house since they're a veritable Mosquito Scourge.



On a somewhat larger scale, recently, a 2 metre python decided my back garden was the perfect place to digest a large meal. He didn't object when I took photos of him and continued raking the grass, but I expect to hear from his agent, remanding some kind of remuneration for using his image.




Only this morning, the screeching of the noisy miner birds alerted me to the likely presence of a predator. Sure enough, a small goanna was approaching the huge gum tree where the miners have their nests. These lizards are great climbers and like nothing more than to steal eggs and unfledged chicks for their supper.


Then, there's the endearing little Water Dragon. These friendly lizards have been known to peer through my window, in the past. They're very fond of fruit.



Working from home has obvious advantages, one of them being the opportunity to observe and record the many interesting visitors to my garden. Now that summer is on the way, I anticipate many more and look forward to sharing them with you!


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