Friday, 29 January 2021

Update 29th Jan 2021 - Introducing Shane

Sasha's new baby is now back-riding and has been named Shane. I think Shane is a boy.

Shane back-riding on Sasha - 11th Jan 2021

So far, Shane seems to be brave and inquisitive. One day when he and Sasha were sleeping on top of Box 7, he appears to have fallen off the box onto the garage floor below. I don't know exactly what happened - I heard a loud baby possum distress call from the garage and went in to investigate. By the time I got there, Sasha had descended to the garage floor and was retrieving Shane.

No one seemed any worse for the incident and hopefully Shane learnt something from it.

Shane back-riding on Sasha - 20th Jan 2021 [Photo by Xesce]

In the photo below, Sasha is making her way off and Shane has been whacked in the face by a low-hanging branch and almost pushed off her back. This is a common hazard for back-riding babies. 

Shane back-riding on Sasha - 20th Jan 2021

Shane is not yet at the stage where he is ready to venture far from Sasha, but I have managed to get one photo of him by himself.

Shane - 15th Jan 2021

Viewers will have noticed that the possums have been avoiding the possum boxes for a while now and we've almost completely missed out on seeing Shane in the boxes. Possums have their own schedules; last year we were lucky enough to have two mothers with babies using the boxes at the same time, but now we're not so lucky - that's how things go with possums. Possibly the boxes are a bit hot and stuffy inside at the moment.

Sasha and Wink have been sleeping everywhere else in the garage other than the box provided for them - inside a stack of car tyres, in the rolled-up garage door, in the possum apartments under the eaves and both next to and on top of the box itself. Meanwhile Pax seems to have found some other sleeping spot near Box 3 - she often appears from this direction just after sunset.

Wink is starting to get some staining around the pouch area, which means there will soon be a baby in the pouch, if there isn't one there already.

Wink and Pax currently seem to have a truce. While I'm only speculating, I think that Pax, being the smallest brushtail and without a mother to protect her, probably doesn't want to get into any unnecessary fights. Wink, on the other hand, is more concerned about Sasha (who frequently chases her off) and either doesn't think Pax is a threat, or doesn't need any more enemies at the moment.

Here is a photo of Pax and Wink facing off. This is an unusual situation and usually they keep a fair distance apart and pretend the other doesn't exist. I think that in this case, each possum is jealously checking to see if the other is getting some food that they aren't. There was no fight or chasing after this photo was taken; each possum went their own way after they were assured they weren't missing out on anything.

Pax (background) and Wink (foreground) - 10th Jan 2021

Marcel is still visiting and healthy. He ranks lower on the pecking order than any of the female possums - he even retreats from little Pax - but he has managed to avoid pluckings and other injuries for a while.

Marcel - 8th Jan 2021

A female ringtail with babies in the pouch has been seen around a number of times, but hasn't come near the house. This possum doesn't appear to be Nikita.

The bald/white spot on Merlin's head seems to be growing back some black feathers. 

Merlin - 21st Jan 2021


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