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.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Splash about

The Red-browed Finches that frequent the garden shrubs are such a gregarious bunch and provide lots of entertainment and today was one such example.
They arrived at the bird bath and decided one in all in for a splash around.


Monday, 25 April 2016

See-through wings

I think I have posted a photo before but can't see it on the list so here is another of a Glasswing Butterfly Acraea andromacha andromacha.
There have been quite a few fluttering around lately but today I saw this one take a break on a grass stem and stayed long enough to get a photo or two.

 This is the only species of glasswing found in Australia with their range mainly in the north and occasionally as far south as Sydney.
The larvae feed on wild passion vines Passiflora spp. but eggs laid on the edible passionfruit  do not see the larvae develop.