Thursday 29 October 2020

Update 29th Oct 2020

Wink has reached the stage where he no longer back-rides on Sasha and gets chased off if he comes too close to her while eating, but he still shares a sleeping place with her virtually every night.

Wink - 23rd Oct 2020

By the way; I'm referring to Wink as "he", but I'm not sure about this. He's currently at the fluffy stage where you can't see anything.

I'm sort of hoping he's a boy. It seems that male possums disperse widely from the area when they become independent, but females generally stick close by. So having a third female possum in the area that normally only has one might lead to conflict. 

Wink - 23rd Oct 2020

Earlier this month, Wink appeared with a swollen face and a wound (with an opportunistic tick attached to it) near the base of his right ear. Fortunately the swelling went down in about a day and the tick disappeared after a few days. It's still not clear what happened to him.

He didn't look very happy and I haven't included any photos of this. 

Sasha (left) and Wink (right) - 12th Oct 2020 [Photo by Xesce]

On three occasions so far, Sasha and Wink have slept in different boxes. On the 16th of October Wink slept by himself in Box 4. He chose an unfortunate time to do this because the next-door neighbours were working on a fence nearby and he kept waking up and peering out of the box nervously at them. The neighbours actually weren't making much noise but Wink was being very cautious without the fierce Sasha to defend him.

Wink looking nervously out of Box 4 - 16th Oct 2020

When nightfall came, he was in a bad mood and hissed at Sasha and generally made himself objectionable, however he was soon back to normal levels of rebellious behavior. 

Wink (bottom) hissing at Sasha (top) - 15th Oct 2020 [Photo by Xesce]

Rahmet's baby Pax is long out of the pouch, and is now back-riding virtually all of the time. On one occasion he became separated from Rahmet and made some loud distress calls and she came running to his aid. 

I am also assuming that Pax is a "he", although this is not certain at the moment.

Pax - 18th Oct 2020

Rahmet has quickly learnt how to be a mother possum. Here she is balancing skillfully despite the heavy baby trying to unbalance her.

Rahmet with Pax back-riding - 19th Oct 2020 [Photo by Xesce]

And here she is alert and protective.

An alert Rahmet with Pax back-riding - 19th Oct 2020 [Photo by Xesce]

Rahmet with Pax back-riding - 19th Oct 2020 [Photo by Xesce]

Rahmet with Pax back-riding - 19th Oct 2020 [Photo by Xesce]

Rahmet and Pax can be seen in Box 3 pretty much every day.

Rahmet (left) and Pax (right) in Box 3 - 26th Oct 2020

Sasha and Wink can often be seen in Box 7 when the weather is cool. When it warms up, they usually prefer to sleep elsewhere in the garage.

Wink (left) and Sasha (right) in Box 7 - 22nd Oct 2020

Marcel is currently doing well. He has no ticks and fur is growing back on the various plucked areas of his body.

Marcel outside Box 4 - 5th Oct 2020

Several times, all five of the regular brushtails have arrived at the house simultaneously and this has been quite chaotic. 

Marcel (left), Rahmet with Pax back-riding (bottom), Sasha (centre top)
and Wink (right) - 19th Oct 2020

In the photo below, Rahmet is lunging at Wink. After the photo was taken, Wink ran off up the tree to the left and Sasha chased off Rahmet along the balcony rail to the right. Pax held on tightly and stayed on Rahmet's back despite the vigorous chase.

Marcel was also present and trying to keep out of the way, but ran off when he saw Wink running towards him.

Rahmet with Pax back-riding (left), Sasha (top) and Wink (right) - 19th Oct 2020

Neither Nikita nor Morse have been seen for a while, although a female ringtail has been seen in the trees near the house. Both Nikita and Morse have gone away for long periods before. It is possible that when Nikita returns she will have some babies to show us.

I have partly refurbished Box 2. Ever since I replaced the camera in this box (July of this year) possums have been avoiding it. When I added the camera I had also removed most of the fascia panel that was shading the entrance hole because the wood had rotted. I thought this might have been the reason possums didn't feel comfortable sleeping in the box any more and decided to replace it.

Rather than just replace the fascia, I replaced the entire roof, as the previous one was also starting to rot in places. The new roof was bigger, made of thicker wood, and reinforced on the edges with aluminium edging. I also repainted the box and fixed a few other minor issues with it.

Box 2 - 26th Oct 2020

Unfortunately, this seems to have made no difference. No possums have even stuck their noses into the box to check it out after the refurbishment. 

I don't believe the new camera is the reason that possums are avoiding this box, because a virtually identical camera was put into the new Box 1, and this box has been used by possums several times now. An unknown marauding male slept there six times and Marcel three times.

Marcel in Box 1 - 29th Oct 2020

I also painted the wooden portion of the watering station I installed last year. I have been keeping this full over the past few months due to the extremely dry weather. 

Watering Station - 21st Oct 2020

A second brush turkey chick has been seen. Like the first one, this one was only seen on the day it hatched and never again afterwards.

Brush Turkey Chick - 17th Oct 2020

The garden was super dry when these chicks hatched, and maybe this made it harder for the small chicks to find food (although the adult turkeys seem to be doing OK), so possibly they went elsewhere, but brush turkey chicks do have a high mortality rate.

[After posting this, a neighbour told me that he had seen a brush turkey chick a little larger than this one a couple of times recently, so it seems that at lest one of them is still around.]

Anyway, it has been very wet for the past few days and the forecast is for a wet summer, so maybe things will be different if more chicks hatch.


  1. Did you have the fan on in Box 1 today? Which possum was it?

    1. The possum in Box 1 was Sasha. This is the first time she has slept in this box.

      I didn't turn the fan on. The box didn't get too hot (max 29 C) and Sasha didn't seem to be uncomfortable, but also she seemed fairly nervous and I didn't want to risk scaring her.

      I'm probably being over-cautious because Marcel didn't even notice the fan when I tried it with him, but I want Sasha to use the box a few times and decide that it's safe before I try the fan with her.

  2. :( sad about Rahmet. How's Pax coping? How's Wink being treated by Sasha now there's a baby in Sasha's pouch?