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Caught out late

July 20, 2014

Part of our daily routine involves a power walk up the hill to the top of the road and back. Not only is this a great start to the day but it gives me a chance to spy the next subject for the blogs. Given my walking shoes have orthotics in them which makes them squeak, anything with ears is miles away before I get near. Generally I only come home with pictures of fungi or flowers.

However on this day as I came squeaking around the bend we saw a flash of grey and black hurtling up a Long-leaved Box (Eucalyptus goniocalyx). Close examination of the upper branches revealed a Brush-tailed Phascogale or Tuan (Phascogale tapoatafa) staring down at us. We have previously seen images of these creatures captured on our remote camera as they visited our birdbath at night, but never during the day and never in real-life. Seeing this individual was a huge treat.

DSCN9164Typically phascogales hunt in trees for birds, reptiles and other small mammals at night. But the mating season is between June and August and we may have observed a male travelling between female partners during the daylight hours. Famously, male phascogales usually die before they are 12 months old as a result of frenzied mating.

Its continued sighting in our area begs the previously asked question about phascogales – endangered or just elusive?

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2014 8:39 am

    How unusual and a treat.

  2. Tyaakian permalink
    July 21, 2014 9:29 am

    Lovely! I’ve only ever seen a dead one in daylight – but like you we spot them at night very occasionally – I would vote for the elusive, with fingers crossed

  3. August 17, 2014 11:16 pm

    very nice…you might see more if the foxes in the wood heap disappeared…:)

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