Giant Burrowing Frog - Heleioporus australiacus

A Victorian Record of Heleioporus australiacus

Just before the new year dawned Rohan Clarke and I slipped out of Melbourne and headed east into Gippsland for a quick overnight jaunt. We had a couple of targets – Figbird for Rohan’s Vic list and a bit of a long bow looking for the Giant Burrowing Frog (Heleioporus australiacus) in State Forest around the Mitchell River. First stop was Lake Guyatt where a nice list of fifty odd species got things moving including a calling Pacific Koel. From here we headed to Metung birding anywhere that looked likely picking up local rarities like White-browed Woodswallow, Brown Songlark and[…]

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Possum Magic

Last weekend I swung into the city to pick up Nik Haass and his lovely wife Raja before meeting up with Rohan Clarke for a night of looking for mammals in the Toolangi State Forest. As I have said previously it is not my favourite area of forest due to the pressures of excess logging but armed with spotlights, thermal cameras and a bat detector (and of course Rohan’s excellent local knowledge) we were pretty confident of seeing and hearing some cool stuff. This area of forest is largely unprotected and is still heavily logged despite being the western most[…]

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Rufous Bettong

The bucket list – a Wallaby and a Wombat – part 2

After such an awesome night seeing Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat and Spectacled Hare-wallabies anything after might have seemed a let down but we were off to try and see something almost as awesome. Rohan and I had permission to go to Taunton National Park and look for Bridled Nail-tailed Wallaby. This tiny wallaby had been thought extinct up until 1973 when a fencing contractor reported them on a property near Dingo in central Queensland. Although they once stretched from Victoria all the way up to Queensland they were a victim of change of land use and foxes. Taunton National Park is[…]

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Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat

The bucket list – a Wallaby and a Wombat – part 1

It was getting to that time of year again – time for Rohan Clarke and I to head somewhere to see something amazing. This year I was to fly into Mackay and meet up with him after he had an excellent 3 week holiday with the family while they would fly back to Melbourne and we would drive the car home (while diverting to some interesting sites of course) We had joked last year that we should combine a trip for Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat and Bridled Nail-tailed Wallaby and through academic contacts of Rohan’s things had fallen into place. Permission[…]

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Cook's Petrel

Westland Petrel – another cracker of a weekend in Tassie

Late in April I headed down for another double-header Eaglehawk Neck pelagic weekend with two boat trips and the usual associated night time misadventures. Earlier in the year I had racked up my 700th Aussie bird species with Black-bellied Storm-petrel on another one of these weekends. April-May are good months for a couple of my last few semi-regular South-East Australian species in Southern Fulmar and Westland Petrel so with a good forecast was keen to get out. Rohan Clarke picked me up from the airport Friday afternoon and we headed down to the Lufra. The whole Tasman Peninsula was packed[…]

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Parasuta flagellum

Parasuta flagellum – a new snake

Last weekend Lucas and I had a spare day and he was pretty keen to head to the Western Treatment Plant as we hadn’t been there for ages. As we arrived it started pouring with rain and that was a theme for the visit – moments of brilliant sunshine followed by pouring rain. We first headed out to Kirk Point where a late pale Arctic Jaeger provided some interest. I think the main reason Lucas likes the WTP is he gets to sit in the front as we drive around and today was no exception. Nothing particularly exciting on the[…]

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A daytime Falsistrellus

The Eastern Falsistrellus (Falsistrellus tasmaniensis) is a large microbat that inhabits the tall wet forest of SE Australia and Tasmania. It is a bat I often encounter in my nighttime sojourns to Bunyip SP and the Central Highlands and can be seen patrolling up and down forest roads hunting prey. Since I acquired a decent bat detector I have had good recordings and observations of this species in Bunyip State Park, Yarra, Latrobe and Tarago State Forests and on the Tasman Peninsula in Tasmania (I will be writing more about the dark art of bat detecting soon). It is quite[…]

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Kultarr tail

Of Mice and Men – a week in the desert

Back in September Rohan Clarke and I hit the road again with a rather loose itinerary. We were to spend a week getting up to Alice Springs searching for critters then I would fly back and Rohan’s family would fly in for a family holiday. We hadn’t done nearly enough research but had a basic idea that we would run up to Coober Pedy and then slow down checking out such places as Oodnadatta, Mount Dare and Old Andado for some cool members of the rodent and dasyurid family as well as some of the key birds and anything else[…]

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