Animals claim spotlight walk ‘a great success’

Fauna turned up in droves (flocks, schools, murders, parliaments, armies) last Friday night to watch about two dozen members of the King Parrot Creek Environmental Group wander through the bush on the monthly spotlight walk in Coonans Reserve, on the banks of the King Parrot Creek.

Sacred Kingfisher

Keen observer – Sacred Kingfisher

Before sunset, four Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) had counted eight humans watching from the creek banks in Coonans Reserve, the biggest number ever seen. This survey is held for the Platypus Conservancy every three months. One platypus and a Rakali or Native Water Rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) reported four more humans further downstream in the Burslems Bridge vicinity. Other fauna watching the count included Sacred Kingfishers (Todiramphus sanctus) (pictured above), Grey Fantails and Eastern Yellow Robins.

Pobblebonk Frog

Pobblebonk Frog

After the sun had set, Trent, using his thermal-imaging camera, led the way through the paths in the reserve. Watching proceedings were Brush-tail Possums, Sugar Gliders and even a Pobblebonk or Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerili).  Some birds

Watchers or the watched?

Watchers or the watched?

found the evening dragging on and were found asleep in the dense foliage of the Tree Violets (Melicytus dentatus) .

The Boobook Owls who turned up to watch last time had obviously decided to go elsewhere this time. The evening concluded with drinks and nibblies (for the humans).

Far be it for me to start rumours but the photo (below left) of a platypus taken last Friday looks remarkably similar to the historic image of Loch Ness monster (below right). Was there a platypus paddling around in Loch Ness all those years ago or is there something more sinister lurking in our creek? Maybe at the spotlight walk next month we’ll find out.

Nessie?

Nessie?

Platypus?

Platypus?

The wildlife can’t wait to see what turns up.

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for giving us the animal perspective Ron. It was a great night. Thanks to Laurie and David for organising the survey and the nibbles. It is the first platypus survey I’ve taken part in, and even though I didn’t see one in in my allocated stretch of the Creek, I was able to watch one that Pam and Wayne had found. This is the first time I have seen one in the wild in 32 years living in Australia.
    The next night walk will be more family friendly as it will get dark earlier. It was good to have an enthusiastic group of children in the mix and Trent did a wonderful job of guiding them.

  2. A big thank you to Trent and all the other who organised the walk. The boys did not stop talking about it all weekend and are very keen to come on the next one. We’ve watched the Fauna video 5 times and will be returning it fairly soon. Janine H

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