Things that go crunch in the night

Our landcare group cameras are out again in an attempt to capture a glimpse of phascogales as they disperse over summer. The cameras will be out for several weeks so we decided to check that they were positioned correctly and working.

Looking at the photos shows that the camera was bumped and needed to be realigned so I am glad we didn’t leave it too long. In this round the cameras will only record between 8pm and 6am to save the batteries and they only need to work when the phascogales are likely to be out and about.

Guess who was first to check out the peanut butter aroma?

(Note that this monitoring is carried out with the relevant ethics approvals and permits)

a quick sniff

now hold it securely


now for another go

or perhaps a side on attack this time

the tail is an indication that this animal is not a phascogale but a brush-tailed possum



Threatened Species Day is a time to think

Threatened Species Day 7 September is a time to think about our impact on the planet. Here are some photos of plants that are listed as rare, vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered in Victoria, within 100km of Ballarat.

They are found in a variety of places such as cemeteries, paddocks, bushland, forests, roadsides, rail reserves and other reserves. They also come in all sort of shapes and sizes. A big thank you to those who work tirelessly to protect our remaining threatened species.

Brighten your day with a wattle

Since 1992  September 1 has been Wattle Day. Golden Wattle is Australia’s national floral emblem and is in full flower now in many areas. Here is a link to learn more about wattle day and some photos to show that there a many from which to choose. Many provide food for wildlife in the form of the seeds and prickly ones are ideal for safe nesting sites for small birds. When in flower wattles seem to light up the bushland.

Hollows are important

If you don’t make a lot of noise when you take a walk in the bush you may be rewarded by seeing a bird using a hollow. In this case it was a young Crimson Rosella. Quite a few birds need hollows to raise their young so it was pleasing to see this hollow being checked for size.

Don’t miss the whales at Warrnambool

At this time of year  Logan’s Beach, Warrnambool, is the place to go to see Southern Right Whales. It is where this species of whales comes to each year to calve and this year has been a bumper year. The site is easily accessed by tourists and the whales come in close to the shore.

The best view is gained from overhead, however visitors have to make do with a viewing platform and binoculars.  Last Friday there was a special project underway using unmanned aerial vehicle (drones) photographing the whales.

There is strict legislation controlling activity around whales but Threatened Species Initiative Funding was made available from DELWP, to undertake the photographing of the markings on the new calves. This research required a special permit to be issued to allow the flights over the whales and their calves.

Each Southern Right Whale has its own unique pattern of markings covering the head and once recorded, it makes the tracking of the individuals easier in the future. These whales are listed as Critically Endangered and being able to track them assists in knowing how the population numbers are progressing. Here is a link to more information.

There are also birds and plants to see.



White Bread or White Punk

Just about every time I go for a walk in the bush there is something interesting or usual to see. On Sunday at Dereel I came across what looked like a chunk of bread, it turns out to be the last stage of the fungi, white punk. Laetiporus portentosus White Punk grows on eucalypts. The photos healthy white punk were taken at Teesdale. Wallabies often eat fungi but I am not sure if they eat this one.

White Punk with flat side where it was attached to a tree

White Punk

White Punk

White Punk with ants

Top of a White Punk