Apr 30, 2012

Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind

I live amongst the trees, so it's probably no surprise that we have lots of encounters with wildlife. Some I manage to get photos of, most I don't. The wallabies are usually too fast (remembering we have four dogs, so they don't want to hang around too close to the house). 
The brush turkeys come around every day and are gorgeous, but I never manage to get a photo -maybe because they do come every day, or maybe because I'm usually telling the dogs to stop barking at them. (Speaking of my dogs, the interview Oliver did a couple of years ago here at the LoveCats is now up at my blog if you'd like to meet him.)
For some reason, I seem to take more photos of the snakes and birds. Though I do have some lovely photos of a St Andrew's spider shedding its exoskeleton - an event that thoroughly entranced me for half a day. I'll post that another day.

This year, the Tawny Frogmouths have been very social and sitting in trees close to the house, so I've managed a few shots, including the little family above (who sat there so still and patiently all day) and the lone one at night (who was only a few feet from our verandah - so close I could have touched him!). 

I sometimes manage a snake photo when I've finished moving them out of the house. The photo of the full snake on the verandah was taken a few days ago after a successful extraction (I'm pretty sure it was a tree snake). The real trick with getting a snake out of the house is doing it without letting the dogs know - especially the Jack Russell who would love to grab them and do that shaking thing.

The other snake on the pavers had been in our garage and was very determined to stay. It took two people to convince it that outside would be a better place. Pretty sure it's a carpet python and was just gorgeous. 

What animals do you come into contact with regularly? House spiders (I love them!)? Wildlife? Magpies and crows? Or do you have something more exotic where you live?


  1. We have every variety of Australian birds come jumping on the roof at the crack of dawn. Talk about a dawn chorus. FLOCKS of galahs, currawongs, crows, magpies, peewees, rainbow lorikeets, cockatoos -- I think I'm missing a few. Alfred Hitchcock would be proud.

  2. We have several families of bush turkeys, all sizes in the park out back. Their big dome home made of branches and leaves has collapsed recently under the rain. They must be off building another one somewhere coz they haven't been around nearly as much these last few days.
    Think I would faint if I found a snake in the house!

  3. You HOPE it was a tree snake :)

    I live near a wetland so we get more wildlife than most but it's still urban so I dream of the kind of wildlife you and Marybelle get to see every day. The things you consider common in your forresty home I would consider terribly exotic - gekkos, pythons, big lizards. But we get some very cool phasmids, twenty-eight (ringnecked) parrots, pink'n'greys, turtles and frogs. A house full of dogs means we don't get any of the above in our garden anymore but I do love to see them when I'm out and about.

  4. Hi Rachel - I love the animals that roam in my back paddock - hares, kangaroos - even the foxes have a certain charm. My favourite thing to see are the black cockatoo's and the huge sea eagles. The snakes I can live without as I live in brown snake territory and often get them in my yard (though they don't last long complimets of my mini foxie)
    And house spiders? Shudder.
    Great post.

  5. We live in the bush too but our Kiwi wildlife is a lot quieter. Mainly cheeky birds, especially the Wekas. They are large and have no hesitation about coming into the house. We've even found one sitting on top of the TV. They used to taunt Boss, the dog, forcinghim to hide in our bedroom. Wild pigs dig up the vege garden or root around in the bush. Spiders aplenty too. All good fun.

  6. Marybelle, what a fabulous, energizing way to wake up each day! (Assuming you wanted to wake up at that time. ;))

    We don't get the lorikeets or galahs here because we mainly have gum trees and bush types of trees. But my mother is less than half an hour away and gets all those beautiful colours in her bird feeders. I'm a little jealous of both of you. =)

  7. Robyn, I love the brush turkeys. Such glossy black feathers and brightly coloured heads - majestic.

    Fingers crossed for your turkeys and their latest home construction!

  8. We have quite a bit of bird life (peewees, magpies, butcher birds, crested pigeons and doves, pale-headed eastern rosellas,ravens...), ring-tailed and brush-tailed possums, blue-tongues and the occasional rocket frog - but considering we're in the Brissie 'burbs I'm glad of what we get!

  9. Nikki, yes, I HOPE it was a tree snake! =) It had a bright lime green under its neck (doesn't show up in the photos).

    Had to look phasmids up, dolt that I am - stick insects and their close relations! We get some huuuge ones and they often come in along the verandahs to mate (which seems to take a verrry long time). They're stunning.

  10. Helen, the hares and foxes are gorgeous here too. We don't get kangaroos since we're more hilly, but I drive past flat places on the way home that often have kangaroos out feeding at dusk. We do get wallabies though and they're adorable.

    Black cockatoos - don't they have the eeriest call ever? When we first moved here, I hadn't heard them before and they almost spooked me. And you get sea eagles? How cool!

  11. Sue, I've been mesmerized when I've been to NZ and had a chance to see your wildlife. Last time I was there, staying with the gorgeous Barb DeLeo, I bought a set of coasters with NZ birds because I loved them so much. Next time I visit, I'll ask for an introduction to a Weka. =)

  12. Anita, considering Brisbane is a great big city, that really is a heap of wildlife, isn't it? It's amazing how animals learn to adapt around us wrecking their living space and putting up buildings and roads.

  13. Rachel, I love your tawny frogmouths! When we were travelling I came across a pair which had made a home beside a caravan park swimming pool. They were having a nap on the fence in the afternoon - a less restful place I couldn't imagine with all the kids yelling and splashing!

    We have a lovely selection of native visitors - I've even managed to snap pics of the grey kangaroo family that are regular visitors in our orchard (a grand title for a rather motley collection of trees!) And then there's the echidna that spent one afternoon ferreting for ants in the garden by the door.

    Haven't seen many snakes - though I know they're about. Thankfully they take themselves off when we get too close!

  14. Rachel, I love the pics. We used to get a lot of tawny frogmouths but they haven't roosted here for a while. They're such terrific birds. We have snakes, blue tongue lizards, lots and lots of birds plus funnel webs and red back spiders. Not so enamoured of the spiders but thrilled about the lizards and birds.

  15. You LIKE house spiders, Rach? Really???

    We have lots of wildlife, even though we're in the 'burbs. From our backyard I've had to collect ailing tawny frogmouths (4 to date), kookaburras (just the one) and possums (lost count) for WIRES. We also have lots of blue tongue lizards, and a resident tree snake that often visits our veranda in the summer -- he's a beautiful green with a bright yellow throat. We even came across a land mullet last month.

    And each morning and evening we're treated to the dulcet tones of the sulpher-crested cockatoos. :-)

    No brush turkeys though. I'm jealous of those!

  16. Sharon, I wonder if those Tawny Frogmouths had decided that the pool fence was a safe place for a nap because no other predators would come close to the yelling and splashing children?

    You had an echidna? Very cool. I haven't seen one around here.

  17. Annie, the blue tongues are something special, aren't they? We get huge lizards here and I especially love watching them climb a tree - they can be quick, or so slow that they practically camouflage while moving.

  18. Michelle, yes I love house spiders! The daddy long legs remind me of dancers for some reason - those long thin legs. :)

    The huntsmen are simply gorgeous. We tend to name the huntsmen in our house and ask them how their day is going. They keep the insect population down!

    The St Andrew's Cross spiders are stunning, and the way the sit in their webs is fascinating. (Though it's rare we have one in our house - they prefer the verandah.)

    And the little black house spiders are adorable.

    Wow, you're almost like a refuge for injured animals. They must know your house is a safe zone. Lovely!

  19. Rach, we name our Huntsmen as well - although they are all christened the same: Rupert (unfortunately the dog loves them as well). The doves are collectively known as 'the Peabody Family' and the pair of pale-headed eastern rosellas are Gerald and Felicity.

  20. Anita, I love your names! Our huntsmen used to all be called Cyril or Cyrilla (not that we had any expertise in telling the genders apart), but now we also distinguish depending on which room they're in.

    The Peabody family - perfect!! As are Gerald and Felicity.

    I should admit that we had the most adorable young toad living in our waterwell pot - I have photos of him coming out in the rain and resting an elbow on the rim to get wet. Reminded me of an old man on a porch. He'd also always come out to say hi when I watered the plant. We called him Nev, and one day I watered the plant and was saying hi to Nev when a smaller toad popped her head out. We called her Nevillina. :)

  21. mouse.. and really i hate mouse :(

  22. Eli, I had pet mice when I was a teenager - they're so gorgeous! :)

  23. Hi Rachel ~ Living in the city, Calgary Canada, means birds, squirrels and the occasional rabbit are all that I see. Birdwise we get robins, sparrows, blue jays, magpies, chickadees and crows. I love the chickadees as they have two calls ~ chick a dee dee dee and hey cutie. The robins have quite a variety of songs as well and are very early risers in the warm seasons. They go south in the winter. I don't mind spiders but my favorite bug is the ladybug.

  24. Kaelee, I'm totally with you on the ladybug. :)

    Squirrels! I'd love to meet a squirrel - they're just so gorgeous in photos. And the way they hold a nut in their little hands? Precious.

    I just looked up chickadees on Wikipedia - how adorable. I'm putting seeing them and squirrels on my bucket list.