Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Alpine Marmot

One of the animals I wanted to see on our recent trip to Switzerland was the Alpine Marmot, or just Marmot as I called them at the time.

I was able to get some good information from our Air BandB host, and as a result we got some pretty good views of them.

The Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota) is a ground squirrel, in the same genus the American Groundhog.  We heard the Alpine Marmot before we saw them as they communicate with short, sharp whistles that seem to travel a long way in the alpine air.  These pictures were taken on the mountains near Grindelwald, when we were doing a walk from the First (pronounced to sound like 'fear', rather the the position in a race!) cable car station.   It was a truly wonderful part of the world - and there will be picture to follow!

You can find more pictures from around the world here at Our World Tuesday.

Wild Bird Wednesday 274 - Ruddy Turnstone

While we were down on the beach at Apollo Bay we happened upon a small group of waders on the rocks in the waves.  There were some Red-Necked Stints, Knot (which I think were Great Knot, but they were very flightly) and some Ruddy Turnstone.  I was not geared up for photography on that walk, so I returned a couple of days later and managed to relocate the Ruddy Turnstones, but the other waders were less accommodating.

The Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) is a distinctive and plump little bird - which breeds in the high arctic and returns to Australia for our summer.  I take great delight is seeing them.

The shots here show almost classic habitat - tidal reef and rock pools.

To join in with WBW (as if you did not already know!), you just click on the blue button below the thumbnails.  Have fun and share as you feel fit!  SM

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 273 - Satin Bowerbird

I don't have much time this week - so this week's WBW will be much shorter than normal!

These are some pictures of a male Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) from the week we spent at Apollo Bay.

There were often a dozen of more of these birds in the garden - but they were very flighty, and it was rather hard to get pictures of them.  I think the best way would have been to have used a hide on the verandah of the house - but as I dont have a hide that was not possible!

The blue males seemed a little braver than the 'green' birds - which are females and immature birds.  However, I was rather pleased with the shots of the male in the tree.

Also - I have added some video footage of a 'foraging party' that was on the lawn for one of the afternoons.  This footage was taken with a Trail Cam, which was left in garden all day.

As ever, to join in just click the blue button and off you go!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Here are some shots of that classic Australia - the Koala.  Just to be clear, this is not any sort of bear, and it's closest relative happens to be the wombat!

These chaps were sitting in the road side trees on the way to Cape Otway.  In the past this habitat has been damaged by the numbers of Koala in the trees.  We did not see as many as in the past - but they were hardly scarce.

The animal in the first image has a really messy eye, and as conjunctivitis is one of the symptoms of a  chlamydia infection, this animal may be sick.  The chlamydia infection is common in Koala, but it only becomes a health issue of the population (or habit damage) cause high levels of stress.

However, as the second picture shows, Koalas do spend a lot of time being inactive (and this is nothing to do with 'drugs' from the leaves) its hard to tell between a sickness and natural lassitude.  The Koala spends some much time immobile because it's gut is basically a large fermenter, and the animal is waiting for the bacteria in its gut to work their chemical magic on otherwise indigestible food.  Once the bacteria have broken done the food - bought gum leaves in this case - the koala either digests the waste  produced by the bacteria, or the bacteria themselves!   Charming!

The last set of pictures show a female - and at times you could get a glimpse of a young koala with her - but I was not able to capture an image of that.

So, here is a Koala, and if you could get there name right it would be good - as they already have brough to bear!

You can find more pictures from around the world here at Our World Tuesday.