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That’s not at all what we expected

April 18, 2013


We returned home from a two-week trip last night and decided to wander around the property in the forlorn hope that the Powerful Owls had returned for another season. Alas, not…yet!

My approach to one of our dams precipitated a sudden splash followed by a trail of bubbles across the water surface. Even though I have seen Common (Eastern) Long-necked Turtles in the dam before (click HERE to view previous post) their method of retreat is usually to silently slip below the surface, no splash nor bubbles, until the perceived danger has passed.

Thinking nothing more about it I continued walking but then noticed a flurry of activity on one of the branches of a submerged tree. And there it was, totally unexpected: a Native Water Rat or Rakali (Hydromys chrysogaster). Being mainly a carnivorous eater feeding on frogs, crustaceans, fish, aquatic insects and sometimes birds, I am surprised that our small dam could support such a creature.

In my haste to get a better photo I fell in the dam (saved the camera), which of course caused the Rakali to head for cover. I did manage to see its distinctive white tail as it crawled up the opposite bank and into a hole in the wall.

And to think, I spent many summer twilights sitting on the banks of the King Parrot Creek hoping to photograph a Rakali. It was probably waiting for me back at home.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2013 2:36 pm

    Great photo, you seem to be always at the right place at the right time. No fluke I’m sure. A bit late in the season for a dip though.


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