Monday, 30 October 2017

Update 30th Oct 2017

Arrow is growing up. I suppose I say that pretty much every post about every young possum, but they go through the stages of growth so fast that it's difficult to avoid commenting on it.

Arrow - 7th Oct 2017

Until a few days ago, Arrow would sleep in Box 7 with Sasha pretty much every day, but they would go their own ways at night, with Sasha chasing off Arrow on sight. Now, however, they have taken to sleeping apart.

Arrow outside Box 7 - 19th Oct 2017

Arrow in Garage Door - 30th Oct 2017

Here are a couple of photos from when Sasha and Arrow still visited together.

Arrow (left) and Sasha (right) - 23rd Sept 2017 [Photo by Xesce]

Sasha (left) and  Arrow (right) - 4th Oct  2017

Around the start of October it rained heavily after a particularly long dry spell (long enough that the water tank ran dry for a couple of weeks - the first time this has ever happened). Ever since that time, the possums have changed their habits. They now visit far less frequently than before and in particular, Koji, who was previously certain to visit every night, now rarely visits.

On two occasions, I was worried enough about Koji that I waited in the yard at dusk, near where I thought his drey was, to see if I could catch a glimpse of him. On both occasions he appeared; on the first occasion I coaxed him over to house, but on the second he wasn't interested and went off to the back of the garden as soon as it became dark.

The photo below is from the last time Koji was seen. He seemed happy eating Bauhinia leaves.

Koji - 17th Oct 2017

It could be there is something particularly delicious sprouting at the back of the garden, it could be there's a python around near the house, or it could be that Koji has responsibilities as the dominant male ringtail in the area.

Another unusual thing is that the Chinese Elm is sprouting new foliage, and the possums seem to be ignoring it. In previous years at this time, the possums - both brushtails and ringtails - would swarm this tree and spend long periods feasting on the fresh shoots, but now the tree seems almost deserted.

On one occasion Zoë was seen nibbling the shoots, but this was an exception.

Zoë - 4th Oct 2017

Zoë has a couple of times approached close enough to take food from hand, but hasn't seen seen in a while. It could be that she now has babies and thinks it's safer to keep them away from the house.

Zoë - 29th Sept 2017 [Photo by Xesce]

A new brushtail has been in the area. I think it's a little boy possum of about Arrow's size, with a white tip on his tail. He has been seen visiting the boxes and slept in Box 2 today. [Sorry about the dreadful camera in this box]. Once he was seen at the base of a tree near the house, having been chased off by Arrow.

I can't imagine him remaining this area; hopefully I can get a photo of him before he's chased off for good.

Elvis has been seen once sleeping up a tree.

Elvis - 23rd Sept 2017

Gatsby now has a large wattle (not visible in these photos) and has been energetically maintaining his mound.

Gatsby - 2nd Oct 2017

Sometimes he seems to be showing off to another turkey near his mound.

Gatsby and (presumably) a female brush turkey - 2nd Oct 2017

On one occasion he excavated a large hole in his mound and embedded his entire body in it, seemingly to impress his prospective mate.

Gatsby - 2nd Oct 2017

Falcon Cams

I was going to make a mention of a webcam that had been set up on a skyscraper at 367 Collins St. Melbourne overlooking a Peregrine Falcon nest. The camera had apparently been set up when there were two eggs in the nest and the idea was that people could watch the eggs hatch and the chicks grow up.

Unfortunately, nature doesn't make any concessions for cute baby animals and both of the chicks died. Then the camera got turned off.

It turns out the the Charles Sturt University also have two Peregrine Falcon webcams as part of their FalconCam Project. These were off-line this afternoon but working again in the evening (possibly the server has problems with high load during the day). Last seen, there were two healthy chicks in the nest.


  1. Arrow looks very much like Sasha! (Or at least more like Sacha than any other of her kids)

    1. Yes, you can particularly see the resemblance in the photo from 4th Oct.

      I'm still not sure who his father is. He would have been fathered around the time that Marlowe took over from Farley as the dominant male in the area. He looks more like Farley, but his size is more like that of Marlowe.