Do you see wild animals?
I had to laugh when I saw this prompt this morning. Do I see wild animals? We live in an area that is surrounded by National Park and that for most of the year is very sparsely populated by humans. It’s a paradise for wildlife.
Take this evening. We attended a Christmas dinner in Wynyard and drove back to Sisters Beach road just as it was getting dark. About 9pm at this time of year. You have to be careful on that road at night as there is often wildlife about. Sadly the wild animals we see often are dead ones, roadkill.
Tonight we made it home without encountering any wildlife on the road. Until we got to our own driveway where there were two pademelons sitting there. Both hopped off in a panic and we had to wait until they were safely out of the way before continuing up the drive. That’s not uncommon. We often see the pademelons and sometimes wallabies hopping around our street just on dusk. They like to graze in people’s front gardens. Then they started getting cheeky. Naomi was growing some pots of herbs near the front door last year. They ate the lot. She said that those wallabies would have the freshest breath in Sisters Beach after eating all her mint plants. They also polished off a tub of potatoes she was trying to grow.
I already knew that they liked to eat flowers, when we first moved here they had a go at my roses which I’d brought from Geeveston in pots. I had planned to plant them in the ground but gave up that idea and moved them to the upstairs deck. Just recently though a pademelon who appears to be living in our backyard started to lurk around by the bottom of the ramp to the deck at night. One morning Naomi got up to find that the rose bushes had been overturned and thoroughly chewed up. I was very annoyed because they were just starting to sprout new leaves and flowers and looking better than they had since we moved. We are pretty sure it was the pademelon as it was too much damage to be possums who just nibble. We had torn branches as well. Now we have to barricade the ramp before we go to bed to keep Paddy out.
As well as the wallabies and pademelons we also get potoroos who are smaller but also like to eat our plants. Last year they were always getting into the side yard to eat the ivy leaves around the rainwater tank. Then they would not be able to get out of the yard and would panic if we went to open the gate for them. Now we just leave one gate open all the time.
We also have possums. There are two main types here. I haven’t seen a Ringtail possum but the brushtails are regular visitors. We have some big gum trees in the garden and they like to eat the leaves. We occasionally see them up the palm trees opposite the deck too. We like the possums though, they don’t come out till after dark and if you take a torch you can usually get a good look at them. We’ve even been lucky enough to see a couple of babies this spring. They stay in their mother’s pouch until they are big enough but after that they ride on her back until they are old enough to forage for themselves. Last year we had Blackie and Brownie. Blackie was a baby possum and Brownie was his mother. They were together all through the winter even after Blackie was grown. They seem to have moved on now and Blackie has probably found a mate and is living somewhere nearby. When we first moved to Sisters Beach we used to hear terrible screaming at night and thought that it must be Tasmanian Devils or quolls or something but it turned out to be possums fighting with each other. Sometimes they run across our roof as a short cut between our back garden and the big trees at the front of our house.
There are bandicoots in the area but we haven’t seen any yet. They dig holes in the ground and there are a couple of holes in the front garden so we might have some. Then there are the rabbits that we see occasionally. Of course they are feral not native but they are wildlife. Naturally there are also mice outside, and occasionally inside too.
We also see and hear birds all day long, Kookaburras and Black Cockatoos make the most noise. There are mid sized birds, starlings, blackbirds and others that I don’t know the names of yet and small birds like Goldfinches and Fairy Wrens.
So yes, we do see wildlife.