23 Mar 2022

What Katy Did next

It bit me thats what! As well as an abundant birdlife Australia hosts a huge number of other fascinating animals. Like this Mimicking Snout-nosed Katydid I found in our daughters garden. It gave me quite a nip as it uses its mandibles to crack open grass seeds to eat the contents.

The number of crickets stridulating in the early mornings and evenings was incredible and we rescued dozens out the pool every morning. The creek at the bottom of the garden wasn't only a haven for aquatic birds it was also used by numerous dragonflies and damselflies. Species I identified whilst there included Blue Skimmer, Wandering Percher, Blue-spotted Hawker &Wandering Ringtail.
Blue-spotted Hawker

Wandering Ringtail

Having a swimming poll in such a hot climate is a luxury we enjoyed on a daily basis with the grandkids. Putting up a large canopy over one end of the pool to keep at least part of it shaded we came across a small roost of a species of Forest Bat. I'm not sure which species as they're hard to separate but it looks as if they could be Short-tailed Forest Bat. Most flew off but those that didn't were moved somewhere dark and safer to roost.

The local town hosted a street food and music festival in the park one evening and we watched as literally tens of thousands of Fruit Bats flew out of their riverside roost to feed in the early evening.

Yabbys are native Australian freshwater crayfish that inhabit a variety of habitats  - including muddy dams and creeks. We found some in the creek at the bottom of our daughters garden whilst clearing out debris carried in by a recent flash flood. Cue much fun whiling away time with our young grandson catching Yabbys with a piece of meat tied to a length of string.

Yabbys live in burrows in the banks of creeks and dams and the evidence was everywhere when you looked for it. The creek remained full of water this summer but usually drys out. Yabbys survive the dry season by hunkering down in their burrows until it's wet enough to venture out again. This year there have been lots of flash floods so the creeks and dams are full and the Yabbys are thriving.

A trip up into the hills near the house not only resulted in quite a few bird species but also a number of animals  - including this Black Wallaby. One of several seen.

Lizards were everywhere including this juvenile Eastern Bearded Dragon that stayed just long enough for a photo. Most scuttled off before we'd even had a chance to identify them.

Australia is famous or maybe infamous for its spiders and quite rightly so. I just missed walking into the web of this Golden Orb Spider complete with newly hatched young! 

Were already planning our next visit to see the family and I've invested in a guide to Australian Dragonflies to help identify a few more species! 

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