Monday, 3 May 2021

Update 3rd May 2021 - A sugar glider and a new possum

Some unexpected news: A sugar glider was seen in the back yard.

Sugar Glider - 19th April 2021

The photos aren't the best. They were all taken at long range with the built-in flash that wasn't really adequate for the job, so I've had to process them a bit.

Sugar Glider - 19th April 2021

In the photo below, the glider isn't waving a foot at us but was in the middle of scratching itself when I took the photo.

Sugar Glider - 26th April 2021

The glider was seen fairly close to Box 6, which was intended to be a sugar glider box, so I thought this was a hint to make the box a bit more welcoming.

I cleaned out the box. It was filled with nearly a decade's worth of insect corpses, ant-nest material and part of what looked like a mud wasp nest. I discovered that the entrance hole, which was at the back of the box close to the tree truck, had been partly blocked by growth of the tree. So I cut away some of the wood with a hole-saw.

Unfortunately, no sugar glider has yet entered the box.

Another new visitor was a male brushtail. He has been named Walt.

He is very rufous in colour with a white tip on his tail. There haven't been any brushtails with white tipped tails seen in the area for a long time. I'm not sure how possum genetics works, but if we start seeing babies with white-tipped tails it seems likely he would be the father.

Walt - 1st May 2021

Since the last entry, Marcel has returned and is in perfect health.

Marcel - 20th April 2021

I am still not completely sure, but I think Shane might actually be a female possum.

Shane went missing one day (16th April, for the record) - she wasn't seen with Sasha or anywhere else in the garage - and when she reappeared she had some unusual substance on her fur. It was over all of her body, with the exception of her tail, and it looked as she had fallen head-first into a bucket of something like varnish.

I still don't know what this substance was. It had a tarry consistency and had stuck tenaciously enough that I couldn't wipe any of it off. The weird thing was that it had no smell. Just about anything a possum could conceivably encounter; tar, paint, motor oil, grease from a BBQ etc. would have a noticeable smell.

I have some photos of this but they look pretty nasty and I don't think I'll post them unless someone asks to see them.

Over the next few days she managed to clean up her fur and is now back to normal - and hopefully a little wiser. She was her usual self during this period and didn't appear sick, so it seems that whatever she got herself into wasn't too toxic.

Sasha and Shane - 27th April 2021

Shane - 1st May 2021

Wink looks like she has her first baby in the pouch.

Wink has slept in Box 2 a couple of times recently. This is the first time a possum has used this box since the new camera was installed in July of last year. Hopefully the curse on this box is now lifted.

Wink - 20th April 2021

Pax continues to visit, usually timing her visits to avoid conflict with other possums. Often she will visit when Sasha and Wink are preoccupied with squabbling with each other.

Pax often sleeps in Box 1. Frequently, Sasha will visit this box to leave her scent - and on one occasion a pile of poo - after Pax has slept there, but this doesn't seem to deter Pax.

Pax - 20th April 2021

The occasional ringtail has been seen around, including a mother and baby ringtail who are almost certainly the same ones seen in March. The baby is now too big for back-riding but usually remains near its mother.

The ringtails don't seem to be scared of humans, but aren't interested in approaching the house for food.

Unknown Female Ringtail - 27th April 2021

There are still brush turkey chicks hatching. The pair of half-grown brush turkeys mentioned last time are still seen around and recently an almost fully grown one was seen in a tree. I have no way of knowing, but this last turkey could well have been one of the first hatchlings from September of last year.

Brush Turkey Chick - 2nd May 2021



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