Jackie and I went out to The Gurdies reserve in search of powerful owls. After several hours of looking, we failed to see or hear any. We did, however, count 28 ringtail possums which are the staple diet of powerful owls, so there is plenty of prey for them. We also heard an Australian boobook owl calling, and observed several bats and a common wombat.
But then I had what I suspect was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Jackie was standing a few metres behind me, when we both stopped walking to listen for any sounds in the forest. We often do this, as we find we sometimes we hear sounds we may miss while walking, particularly distant owl calls.
Then as I got closer, I realised it was a feathertail glider! It's the world's smallest gliding mammal, and smaller than a house mouse. We were both shocked. It's a species I always hoped would be in our woodlands, and now we know they are. What an exquisite tiny little animal covered with velvet-like fur with that extraordinary tail. They are a social species living in groups of up to thirty or more, so let's hope there are plenty more in there.
Feathertail gliders have been split into two distinct species. This one was later identified as a Narrow-toed Feather-tail Glider (Acrobates pygmaeus)
So excited about our find, the woodlands just keep surprising us. Actually my excitement is a curse at times! I'm seething that I had my camera on settings for distant night shots, and forgot to change them for close up photos. I really should have got way better shots than this considering how close I was. Problem is, I'm like a kid in a candy store when I see animals like this and tend not to think straight. I very much doubt I will get another chance like this ever again! Anyway it's great that they're living in there, and it's yet another reason to preserve these amazing woodlands.
I even got a call from the Department of Environment who have entered the sighting into their biodiversity data site.
July 21, 2022 - Covid put a stop to Dave and Jackie Newman’s wildlife safaris around Australia and introduced them to the natural riches just down the road.