Friday, 26 August 2016

Not so crimson

Found a moth on the window last night that I hadn't seen previously and as a bonus it was quite  distinctive, so I figured it would be not too difficult to identify. Wrong, I scoured the sources and could not get a moth that looked like this one, but the closest I could find gave the clue;  I read that the markings could be quite variable.

All the ones that I could see of the likely species, in the identification sources, had vey different markings on the wings, regarding of the direction and their number. However when I checked images of the species I found many variations of the markings and a few close to this one.
What I didn't see was the crimson colours that are hidden under the wings and on the upper body. However other identification points match, so I concluded that this is an exqmple of a Crimson Tiger Moth Spilososma curvata. They are found in Queensland. NSW and Victoria wher the caterpillars feed on herbacious plants such as dandelions, geraniums and beans.


Monday, 8 August 2016

On the move

Tomorrow will be day 50 since the python caught the wallaby and today it changed the resting spot from the pavers to the garden. Until now it hasn't been able to lift the weight to get into the garden but a week ago it did move across to the lily bowl to have a deep drink.

I expect that it will not be long now until it moves off to a more secluded spot to rest through the remaining cool weather.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

A big meal takes time to digest

It is 23 days since the Diamond Python captured and swallowed a young Red-necked Wallaby and it is taking some time for this large meal to be digested.

Since the capture the python has stayed in this sheltered corner below the garden bed where the warmth of the sun helps with its digestion.
However having a big meal just before the colder weather of winter requires a longer time for the digestion processes to be completed.
The previous capture in 2013 was in October and the full digestion was completed within two weeks.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Life & death in the garden

Recently we had seen a young wallaby making its first forays out of its mother's pouch, racing about in the mad dashes and then back to the pouch. It is one of the sights we like to watch as you can just see the exuberance in the discovery of how, after so long in the pouch they can take leaps and bounds in their new world.
We have also just found a new Diamond Python not too long out of the egg (likely the result of the mating in our lily bowl last October) and now discovering its world, which at the moment is amongst our passionfruit vine, well out of sight of predators.

Youngsters are always vulnerable in these early stages before they have developed awareness of the dangers.
We have had one of the adult Diamond Pythons around the garden as the weather has not been too cold and today it caught the young wallaby on a venture away from mum.

I didn't see the initial capture, only coming upon the scene when most of the wallaby was swallowed. It is almost three years since I recorded the previous capture of a young wallaby and it is obvious that the pythons know when youngsters are around and the areas they frequent, so they just await their opportunity to strike.

 Whether the young python survives the perils that await it we may not know but the chances are stacked against it, as of the clutch of around a dozen eggs only one or two will get to reach adulthood.

Mother wallaby stayed nearby for a few hours waiting for its youngster to come back but then moved off to feed and with the youngster gone will probably start the development of the next embryo that it has stored from its last mating.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Osprey visit

We have been away on and off over the past 6 weeks and in between I have been very busy trying to catch up on the jobs around the property. Also I have not seen any unusual or noteworthy items for the blog without actually looking specifically for something to post.
However today I was in luck, as I was just doing a bit of tidying around the house when I heard a rustling of feathers above my head and looking up I could just see a bit of tail and breast feathers with the rest obscured by the branch the bird was on. I moved expecting to see a Kookaburra but was very surprised to see an Osprey sitting there doing a bit of preening.
Quietly moving away to get my camera I was hoping it would still be there and was pleased to see it hadn't moved giving me the opportunity for photos.

Its feathers seemed to be a bit wet and as the tree is adjacent to our pool I wondered whether it had been in for a fresh-water bath. It continued preening for awhile and then changed its position towards me so I could get a front view (most obliging).

It finished preening and took off (and I missed the shot) headed for the lake to do a bit of fishing.
We often see Ospreys overhead but this was the first time we have had one actually perch on a branch near the house.