Tuesday 24 December 2019

A Baby Possum for Christmas

Some time ago, Sasha's latest baby (her tenth) started venturing out of the pouch during the day while she sleeps. However, only today has Sasha decided to sleep in Box 7 where the little one can be seen on the cameras. So now is time for a Baby Possum Alert. Hopefully she will continue to use this box.

Here is a photo of the baby hiding behind Sasha when she slept in the Possum Apartments a few days ago.

Sasha and 10th Baby - 22nd Dec 2019

Miel has given up sleeping in the garage, which is Sasha's domain. For a while he slept in the nearby Box 2 - which is a good box for smaller possums but not such a good box for viewing since the camera is terrible. Now he sleeps in some unknown location fairly nearby. Possibly he is in the rolled up garage door of a neighbour.

Miel - 23rd Dec 2019

Miel is growing up, but I think he needs to bulk up a bit more before he leaves the area. It's going to be a difficult time for wildlife in the coming year and the bigger and stronger he gets the better.

Bilbo hasn't been seen since the 4th Dec. It's possible that he's attending to a female possum in another area - Sasha is not in breeding condition and he's not yet required to look out for danger when the latest baby is back-riding.

He is missed and I would like to see him back.

Meanwhile another young male brushtail has been seen around. This is probably the same one who has been seen intermittently since July. In Bilbo's absence, he has started to make himself more at home. He has slept in Box 4 twice so far and taken food from hand twice. He is very smart and bold and quickly learned how to approach humans for food.

He has been named Marcel.

Marcel looking out of Box 4 - 19th Dec 2019

Marcel - 24th Dec 2019

Marcel is probably about two years old and although it it not obvious from the photos, he has a lot of scars on his back.

So far this summer we have luckily escaped the fires, and while things have been hotter than normal we've also escaped the mega-heatwave that has engulfed most of the rest of the country. There has been far less rain than is normal, and the garden is much drier than it's ever been before.

There was a storm tonight, which was much needed, but prior to that things were getting very dry and I decided to leave out some water for wildlife. This was trickier than it might seem because I wanted it relatively close to the ground so that it could be accessed by lizards and brush turkey chicks, but I couldn't just leave bowls of water on the ground because cane toads would get in them.

I ended up fixing a stainless steel bowl to a post near some foliage. It's right next to the Brush Turkey mound, so any emerging chicks can probably flap their way up to it.

Water station for wildlife - 21st Dec 2019

I'll probably put out more water elsewhere because the forecast is for the drought to continue well into the new year.


  1. Thanks for keeping the blog running all year. I've checked in regularly and really enjoyed reading your updates and watching the possums! I caught the new baby on the webcam this morning and downloaded a couple of the videos - have you seen a possum seemingly having nightmare before (see 4:40am and 6:22am on 24/12/19)?

    1. Thanks for persevering with the blog. I've only been posting about once per month which is less often than I'd like and I'm glad you haven't given up on it. I've also fallen behind on winnowing and commenting the videos on the webcam site, but I'll try to catch this up soon.

      In the past I've seen possums apparently startled during their sleep but it's usually not clear what the cause was. Were they prickled by something in the box? Was there a loud noise outside (not having audio is a problem)? Was it a nightmare?

      I'm not sure what would have been upsetting the baby at the times you mentioned. At 6:22 am it could possibly have been startled by Sasha's tail drooping down and touching it, but there doesn't seem to any obvious cause at 4:40 am. There would have been a faint smell of bushfire smoke around at that time and I think that makes the possums a bit nervous.

    2. Octopii do dream while sleeping as they change the colour, as well as pet mammals like cats, dogs and guinea pigs. Possibly possums do as well.