Tawny comes into care ,gets fat , diet!

Event of May 2017

I got a call from the local vet asking if we would take a Tawny which had been picked up not far from Merriwa. An injury was evident to the top of the right wing. It could have been the result of a collision. The wing had no broken bones .

Apparently some people can tell if the bird is male or female by the colour and weight. I personally can’t  so I don’t worry about it. The weight was 440grams on intake , an adult bird , good weight.

We put him into a small shade clothed cage to keep him quiet and still. Oral antibiotics were used for 5 days and the wound kept clean. Moved him into an outdoor after a week but didn’t think he was coping that well so bought him back inside .He didn’t try to fly but Tawnies are often happy to sit on a perch and open their great beaks to have food dropped in whenever offered. This guy had no problem eating from the word go. I refer to Tawny as “he”  because sitting and getting waited on came so naturally ………  sorry to any men who might take offense but he really reminded me of an ex husband or two!! After another week or so we moved him back outside .He seemed fine and the injury healing well but he didn’t seem to be making any attempt at flight. We thought we better weigh him to make sure he was maintaining his weight O.K.

WILL YOU FEED ME?

WILL YOU FEED ME?

What a shock we got 790grams .No wonder he wasn’t bothering to try and fly ! Larry and I thought maybe between the two of us going to the aviary to check on him , have a chat , give him a strip of heart we had been doubling up. We had to take action and cut his food down with 2 small feeds morn & eve.

It had taken quite a long time for his wing to heal . Tawny Frogmouths mate for life and stay in a territory for years .Even if the partner is killed  the mate will stay in that territory for a long time before taking up with another mate or moving. Hopefully the mate of this one was still around. We released him in August and he was flying well, off he went hopefully the story has a good ending.

 

Wally Wallaroo the Cheeky One and Poor Little Willy Wallaroo

Wally came into care with me March 2018

Wally was a character, he took over about a month after he arrived. He won me over and could do no wrong! Wally was found wandering alone on a property in Merriwa. He was kept there in care for 2 weeks by the lovely woman who found him. She thought she might be able to keep and raise him but hadn’t realised how much time, effort and specialised care was required to get the animal fit and able to be released so she decided she needed to hand him on. I got the phone call and was happy to take him on. He weighed 1400grams on intake so that made him approx. 6mths old.

Little Wally on his spindley legs!

Little Wally on his spindly legs!

Wally had thrush when I got him so he got his thrush treatment .It wasn’t a big problem and cleared up quickly. By mid March Wally was settled and growing, he now weighed approx. 1485 grams .By the end of April Wally was approx. 2365grams.

Poor Little Willy  

Early April I decided it would be great to try and get Wally a friend to grow up with. I once again called Penny in Dubbo to see if she had any young Wallaroos in care. She had one who had come into care that weighed 980grm but in accordance with his tail and foot measurement would be about 6mths, he was quite underweight .Larry ,Wally and I  went to Dubbo and collected him. He was a dear little boy, very quiet and seemed quite listless. I thought once I got him home and into a routine he would start to thrive,  but It wasn’t to be. Willy would drink but couldn’t keep anything in as he had continual diarrhoea. There are a number of procedures that I worked through hoping to find a solution but nothing I tried worked. I called Ted and explained what was happening. Ted had a couple of  ideas of what could be going on internally so he prescribed medication for treatment and I would have a glimmer of hope every now when I would think he was seeming a bit brighter. I would put him along side Wally but Wally didn’t seem to be interested in him at all. I persevered for a couple of weeks , trying everything Ted was able to suggest but poor  Willy was very ill. I noticed blood in his urine and  no weight gain . On the 27th April I had him in bed warm and he died during the night. Ted did an autopsy and found that he had such severe enteritis and at such a young age  he was unable to put up any resistance even with the medication. We also found that he had cataracts in both eyes so the poor little thing was blind .Wally instinctively knew all was not right with Willy which is why he had no interest. We don’t know what happened to Willy’s mother or poor little Willy.

Larry with Wally and Willy

Larry with Wally and Willy

Willie and Wally

Willy and Wally

Wally and Willy

Wally and Willy

 

 

 

Love my Wally

Love my Wally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wally was very independent and used to worry me when he was youngster. We would go off for walks and he would decide to take off and not show himself for up to an hour sometimes. Wallaroos are very agile at leaping around on rocks and he would leap around in the lounge which is split level, up onto the banisters then jump into the kitchen back up the stairs on to back of lounge chairs , oh what a game. Grey kangaroos do not behave this way indoors and would be bound to break a leg if they tried! Wallaroos also give the odd nip if they feel so inclined usually because they have a different idea of what they want to do rather than what you might want! I have been told that some carers won’t take a wallaroo but I love them , they are great characters with super personalities.   I had raised  “Pretty Britty” before Wally , a female Wallaroo, also very  independent but far more refined than Wally. Wally would leap up from the floor and land on me ,settle down for a sleep , see above….what an angel! We have a steep hill to the right of the house which has various wombat tracks on it which wind up and down over rough terrain and rocks. We used to walk along them and one of Wally’s favourite games was to tear along them and back to me whiz past me to the other end back and so on till he was ready to snooze. He had no compunction about banging into to me so I would lose my balance. I’m sure he was laughing. Once he took off and crossed the river which was a dry bed where he crossed at the time. An hour later he hadn’t returned , it started pouring , the river came up and I was sure Wally was going to be lost and hurt but he turned up wet and grinning at me. By Aug 2018 Wally was big and beautiful. Wallaroos mature much quicker than Greys . I stopped locking Wally up at night as he certainly knew what he was doing. He still liked a bit of milk early morning and eve .He would have some milk about 6pm then head off turning up about 6am for some morning milk and a handful of almonds which he loved. He soon tired of milk but still liked his almonds! He looked terrific.

We were  not getting any rain and were in  drought so he stayed around He would go off but come for support feed like a lot of the others were doing .He was still around in January  but had really wild up and didn’t want me mollycoddling him.

Wally making himself comfortable on my chair!

Wally making himself comfortable on my chair!

love my Wally

love my Wally

 

 

 

 

 

drought Nov 2019

drought Nov 2019

 

 

 

Drought and heat Feb 2020 - Wally with a wet towel draped over him keeping cool

Drought and heat Feb 2020 – Wally with a wet towel draped over him keeping cool

 

 

magnificent big Wally on the rocks watching me on the back veranda

magnificent big Wally on the rocks watching me on the back veranda

Tillie Finnie visits for 2 weeks.

Event of September 2017

While Worm and Duke were just youngsters still in their bags we had a little wombat come for a visit. Our friends , Ted & Jenny Finnie, had a young female wombat in care. They found the mother on their property close to their home .She had a baby in pouch and she died. Ted performed an autopsy on mum and found her lungs were in very bad condition causing death. The baby was named Tillie and move in with them of course! Due to illness in the family they had to go to Victoria .Ted and Jenny always take their animals with them but it’s illegal to take a wombat across the border so I was asked if I would look after Tillie. Ted being ex Taronga and Dubbo Western Plains Zoo wildlife vet  and Jenny a wildlife carer with many years of experience entrusting me with this baby was such a privilege and a compliment of their faith in me to care for her. I was very nervous I must say . Wombat babies experience a lot of stress when taken from their mother and they bond tightly with the carer .Tillie had bonded with Jenny who had  her for about 3 weeks at that stage so to move her again was traumatic making me doubly nervous! Tillie was about 3 kilo  and drinking 3 times over 24 hrs . She was clearly traumatized losing her mother for a second time. I kept her close to me and after about 3 days she started to settle. I don’t think Worm and Duke were very impressed having mum showering favour on this interloper!

cuddling Tillie - Worm and Duke in their bags watching.

cuddling Tillie – Worm and Duke in their bags watching.

Tillie checking out loung chair

Tillie checking out lounge chair

This chair seems O.K. I think I could get comfortable here.

This chair seems O.K. I think I could get comfortable here.

 

burrow inspection

burrow inspection

looks O.K. I'll go in.

looks O.K. I’ll go in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a week we let her stay in the nursing pen at night. I had been taking her in there ,feeding her and spending time in there while she had a munch of the grass and she felt safe in there and got to like it. She investigated the burrow.

snoozing with Tillie

snoozing with Tillie

Tillie drinking - this is good!!

Tillie drinking – this is good!!

 

 

 

 

 

I really enjoyed having Tillie and being able to help Ted and Jenny was good as they will gladly help any animal any time. When Jenny came to collect Tillie it was obvious that Tillie recognized her immediately and was delighted to have her other mum back.Tillie was released at Ted and Jenny’s property as an adult where she was born.

Adult Tillie hanging around ,just after release.

Adult Tillie hanging around ,just after release.

Worm and the Duke

16th May 2017  

I received a phone call asking me if I could take an orphan grey female kangaroo. She was found on the Golden Highway at Cassilis. Her mother had been hit by a car and died. I went and collected her from the local vet and bought her home. She weighed 1147 grams . After measuring the length of her foot and Tail I ascertained she was about 205 gram underweight which was expected for a little orphan coming into care. I got her warmed up and gave her her first bottle which she took O.K.

Wormie peeping out of her bag.

Wormie peeping out of her bag.

Things did not proceed well with this little girl . I would expect that within a week she would have settled and passing urine and feces normally. Initially all seemed like it was going O.K. She did have a small weight gain then started started passing runny yellow feces . I determined she had thrush a common complaint of babies coming into care and not difficult to treat with nilstat. She was not sucking well and  not enough. Feces then became like black pea soup! The woman that had handed her into the vet had left her phone no so I rung her to see if I could get some backround info.She was wriggler and I called her Worm which soon became Wormie! What had happened the woman thought she could manage and had kept the Worm for 4 days and had been giving her cow’s milk then she realised something was wrong and took her to the vet. Cows milk is a no with roos . They must be fed the correct formula like mother’s milk. I got the local vet to do a feces test .They looked for various things it may have been but to no avail . It seemed the likely cause was indeed the cows milk.  I then consulted Ted for his wise and insightful counsel . He got me to put the little Worm on a course of codeine for her weight and age administered at certain times. After a few days it fixed the problem and she started to suck normally as the nilstat had done the job with thrush and the codeine her tummy troubles. She then began to thrive. I wanted her to have a friend to grow up with particularly when she was big enough to be moved into the outside roo pen. I contacted Penny in Dubbo and she had a little male grey approx the same weight . He was already named Duke and Penny agreed to bring him here. Duke was sick , he had some little bald patches, thrush and a wheezy chest . Poor little fellow had Pneumonia so againTed to the rescue . Ted got me to give him 2 courses of antibiotics which was done over a 2 week period . Finally I had two healthy little greys both thriving .They got on really well and it was wonderful to watch them grow into healthy adolescence.

Pretty Little Wormie with head out of her bag.

Wormie with head out of her bag.

Dukie arrives, poor sick boy.

Dukie arrives, poor sick boy.

Wormie and Dukie finally both well and thriving,

Wormie and Dukie finally both well and thriving.

Worm and Duke were moved into the outside pen mid Sept . They were happy n there together and the 3 of us would go walking around the property during the day.

little followers

little followers

wormie tired - its a hard life!

wormie tired – its a hard life!

 

 

 

 

 

Duke with other friends

Duke with other friends

Duke and Worm with Scarhead. Scar healed by now but name remains.

Duke and Worm with Scarhead. Scar healed by now but name remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worm and Duke growing , looking great.

Worm and Duke growing , looking great.

 

Not getting much rain and grass not as abundant for grazing as it had been.

 

 

 

Worm and Duke  on guard at front door!

Worm and Duke on guard at front door!

These two almost ready for release, approx 11 kilo. Still like evening milk ,out all day but  still locked them up in the pen at night.They come when called for lock up , reluctantly!

The decision  to release was taken out of my hands as we had “The Apple Gum Disaster” . Mid Feb 2018 one evening Larry and I were Having dinner. I had just been up in the pen and given Wormie & Dukie their eve milk and locked them in for the night. We heard an almighty crash and it felt like the ground shook .The enormous Apple Gum Tree had fallen right over the pen .Everything in there  was squashed. Its a sight hard to explain when a large tree falls , quite scary. We were sure we were going to find the roos dead in there .After an extensive search no bodies were found .We got our torches and starting searching the property . Worm and Duke both found O.K. and didn’t seem very perturbed so that was their release! The tree had fallen and flattened one side of the pen where they had been grazing but the angle had missed them and they had jumped over what was left and continued their grazing in the paddocks.

Apple Gum Disaster

Apple Gum Disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did have a pen there, what happened to it!!?

We did have a pen there, what happened to it!!?

Don’t seem to perturbed , resting in the sun. Worm was still around through March then she went off and would return sometimes for food as we were heading into drought and the grass was sparse. Duke stayed for much longer and he also cut his foot on some tin so he had to be treated till the cut healed. Fortunately he trusted me and loved his almonds so while I treated his foot he would eat about 10 almonds which gave me time to do what was needed.

Dukie's poor sore cut foot

Dukie’s poor sore cut foot

The cut healed completely with no complications. Duke was still around for a couple of months after Wormie.

Wormie has returned from time to time with a baby .We have seen Duke also .

While Duke and Worm were only youngsters in care we also had a wombat visitor come and stay for 2 weeks.

Wendy and Wynona come to Wombat Creek

Image

May 2017

We received a call from a WIRES member from Dubbo. She had raised 2 wombats from babies but they were now to big to stay at her place and she needed the remainder of their time in care to be at a place that had a wombat pen for them both were they could be released. We were happy to help so it was decided she would bring them here.

Penny brings Wendy and Wynona to Wombat Creek .Introducing them to their new enclosure till release.

Penny brings Wendy and Wynona to Wombat Creek .Introducing them to their new enclosure till release.

Wendy and Wynona investigate under Mum's watchful eye!

Wendy and Wynona investigate under Mum’s watchful eye!

It must be hard to raise them and then relinquish them into someone else’s care . I had  many conversations  with Penny on the phone. She and her husband were  dedicated wildlife carers and she knew we also were. We had already met Penny as she had been to our place before to bring Duke, a grey kangaroo who I taken from her to pair up with Worm, a grey that had been found motherless at another property in Merriwa. She knew what  our place was like was happy to have her babies, now teenagers, come here.

At the time I had Duke and Worm in care who were very young and on 3 bottles each a day so it was decided that Larry would take charge of Wendy and Wynona. Wendy was the older of the two and quite a lot bigger than Wynona. Poor Wynona had been very sick when Penny took her into care.  Penny had taken such good care with her  and with visits and  advice from Dubbo Western Plains zoo vet she had got her through, She  was fortunate to have Wendy in care who had a nice gentle nature and Wynona had become attached to her.

Wendy and Wynona

Wendy and Wynona

When Wendy and Wynona came to Wombat Creek Penny did not tell us that along with other issues Wynona had also had mange. Larry and I noticed she had a patchy part on 1 side and we did mention mange but Penny said she was fine. Larry became very fond of these two girls. Wendy was more aloof  being older but Wynona still liked to get attention and be made a fuss of.

Wynona tummy rub

Wynona tummy rub

A bit of time went by and Larry noticed that Wendy was scratching more than we would have expected and Wynona’s patchy part had worsened. After contacting Penny we ascertained that Wynona previously had mange but had been treated for it.

Wynona  - mange patch growing fur

Wynona – mange patch growing fur

Larry and I thought perhaps it hadn’t cleared up completely and Wendy had caught it from her. We began a treatment program on both of them  simultaneously which was ultimately successful.

Wynona drinking milk

Wynona drinking milk

On arrival here Wynona was still on milk , not Wendy. Wynona’s teat that Penny had bought along was very chewed looking and Penny said she had a habit of doing this. Larry thought Wynona had a peculiar way of drinking her milk and on further inspection he saw that  one of her front teeth was broken off which is why she kept making a mess of her teats.

The teeth of the wombat are extremely similar to that of rodents. The wombat has 24 rootless teeth that grow continuously as wear is caused  by their grinding  of tough, fibrous grasses and  plants of which some are high in silica so they are continuously wearing the surface down. Wombats have a pair of large, robust incisors in  the upper and lower jaw . They have no canines, and there is a wide gap between their incisors and premolars. Hand raised wombats can develop teeth problems, not having  grass and roots  introduced early enough for natural wear to occur can be a cause. A small log or branch with bark attached   is a very good idea for  exercise and entertainment!

We called Ted to come to the rescue. Wynona was comfortable with Larry holding her and Ted used snippers to cut Wynona’s long tooth to the same length as the other one then using a file ground the sharp edge a bit.

Wynona's long tooth to be cut

Wynona’s long tooth to be cut

A valuable teaching lesson  for Larry also. Wynona was then able to suck her teat comfortably and eat properly. If the teeth are not corrected she would not be able to eat and grind her food in the wild  possibly leading to death.

Eventually  Wendy was weaned .

Wynona recovered from mange attack and tooth fixed , happily munching grass, yum. yum

Wynona recovered from mange attack and tooth fixed , happily munching grass, yum. yum

Wendy beautiful girl

Wendy beautiful girl

Wendy was heavy enough to release before Wynona  but we kept her in care  to be with Wynona until she also reached released weight and we released them together. They were released in Feb 2018 .Wendy was straight off into the NP .Larry used to take them out for walks but was always nervous with Wendy as she was rearing to go and because we hadn’t hand raised them Wendy didn’t respond as well to being taken back to the pen. Anyway all went well although we never saw Wendy at a later time we did see Wynona as she came back to the house paddock sometimes and Larry was able to give her a pat, perhaps Wendy did as well in the future but we had so many wombats around in the drought I doubt we would have recognised her. Anyway these 2 girls hopefully are still around somewhere and maybe Wendy has had a baby of her own.

 

 

 

 

Poor Wombats and thumbs down to NPWS

Events of Oct 2017

Our closet  neighbour lives about  5ks away. He turned up here saying that wombats had dug under his house and caused  a terrible mess. This guy has had his place here for about 30 years and has lived there permanently on and off and so have  wombats . I found it quite silly that in all that time he hadn’t boarded around the bottom of his house,  he is a builder!  Anyway he and his partner decided that the wombats under the house  had to be moved and they weren’t  having it any other way. I said that the wombats  should not be moved out of territory but put into a capture cage while a quick job of boarding up the bottom of the house was undertaken then let out there .As they knew that territory they probably would have been fine. Larry went with him to see what was going on . They had to do some digging and it turned out there was Mother wombat and baby who had somehow got separated by soil erosion. Another adult wombat was also stuck under there. The bloke wouldn’t consider the suggestion I had made even though Larry was willing to help him.  I completely withdrew from operations but poor Larry had to help as there seemed to be no alternative. The chap was determined to move them down here. They got the  adult male wombat out who was virtually buried in the dirt. They put 2 adult wombats out  male and female in 1 cage together as they had only the 1 large cage on hand not having realized there was 2 adults under there. The baby was put into  another smaller cage. How those 2 adults managed in there together I have no idea and the mother must have been frantic to be separated from the baby. I specifically said not to separate mother and baby but apparently it couldn’t be helped. Healthy adult wild wombats are something I certainly couldn’t handle alone so I can’t even imagine how they got them and into the cage.  I think the other adult was probably attacking the baby which caused the separation , commotion and erosion of the soil under there. I have seen this happening in the front yard so being under the house would certainly compound the situation. Mother wombats defend their young with determined ferocity when required.

Mum with baby in her pouch - what a dear little face peeping out!

Mum with baby in her pouch – what a dear little face peeping out!

There was no stopping these people from moving these animals .They were getting cows and had decided that wombats and roos no longer welcome.  Larry found a couple of burrows that looked to be unused on our land and the animals were released , mum & baby together at one burrow and the male at the other. Larry put support food and water  by the burrow entrances and tried to keep an eye on them. The following day Larry found the male about 2ks down the road, trying to get back home, he was dead, stressed of course and attacked. A day later Larry found the baby dead . It had been brutally attacked. He searched for the mother for several days but couldn’t find her and she was not using the burrow were she had been released, We don’t know what happened to her. Larry went and told these people what had happened and asked them not to move anymore wombats. They were hostile and didn’t care . They said they were going to start shooting , which they did. As we understand there was no authorization for these actions. We tried to get assistance from NPWS but no one was interested. They left dead baby kangaroos lined up at their gate so we would have to see them when driving to town. They left a dead wombat lying in one paddock on display and another adult dead by their gate on the side of the road on view. Larry called Ted Finnie ex wildlife vet at Taronga Sydney and Western Plains zoo and asked if he would be prepared to do an autopsy to determine cause of death and see if there was a lodged bullet in the animal , he was very willing. Larry called local police who also came on board to be present while his was happening . The time was set up for this to take place. Larry called NPWS ranger for his area who had refused to act to help in the past events and informed him this was taking place and asked if he wished to be present. The ranger had previously said he didn’t want to help because he didn’t want to make any enemies! The next day Larry went to meet Ted & Senior Constable Michael Blades to carry out the autopsy. When he got there the wombat had been removed. Ted and Michael were both on their way out to the spot but no contact from NP ranger. Only we knew that this happening so we believe  the perpetrators were told to remove the  dead wombat. We believe NP ranger did this.

It is illegal to shoot wombats or move them out of territory. We have found that NPWS don’t police any of this activity and turn a blind eye when asked for help. The penalty  faces a fine of up to $39,000 and a maximum of two years in jail. I don’t believe this is ever policed by rangers or imposed.

A very sad situation for our wonderful wombats .

It was a terrible situation for us as without backup from NPWS  we were helpless to stop it.

Mum with baby staying close but  growing bigger.

Mum with baby staying close but growing bigger.

 

 

Meeting the Finnies – thanks to Fidel

Events of June 2017

Many years ago when Larry & I still lived in Coogee we heard that the local vet in  Merriwa, Ted Finnie, was an ex wildlife vet at Taronga zoo. Great news, as we thought when we were living here we would have this wonderful vet in town to call on for guidance with any wildlife that came into care. Larry had cause to take our dog Jack to Ted for some treatment once when he was in Merriwa and came back to Sydney and told me he was a very nice man who instilled confidence, that he knew exactly what needed to be done. Alas, once we finally moved here we were told Ted had retired and sold his practice to a young vet Anthea Wright who was originally from Merriwa , had gone off to do her degree and returned. Anthea was a lovely women and loved all animals but her main interest was with horses and farm animals .She was always willing to help if she could and give us medication when we knew what was needed. We heard from our NP ranger that Ted and his wife Jenny were still living at their property in Merriwa but I felt it was an imposition to call someone who was retired. I had contacted Ted by phone at his practice a few years previous after being advised to so by “Healsville Sanctuary” in Vic.  When I was possum Co Ordinator for WIRES in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs I needed some help regarding stress dermatitis that adult possums were coming into care with and also contracting while in care. Ted put me on the right track and I was able to get pathology done to show what it was and prove why it was happening. I always had this memory of how knowledgeable Ted was and happy to pass on that knowledge to me. Many people will not do this, due to some ego problem? It was easy it was once I talked to Ted. In the mean time I had done some research on the internet and also found that Ted was the first wildlife vet that Taronga zoo had and he had worked for over 10 years before transferring to Taronga Dubbo Western Plains Zoo where he worked for about 6 years. I also realized that Ted had made a very significant contribution to veterinary science, particularly  regarding wildlife.

 Fidel appeared one night with a badly swollen back leg ,limping. Catastrophe , what to do ? who would know ?and further more wombats the size of Fidel who had been free living for over 2 years, a major trauma to catch and transport which would probably result in death by stress. Throwing caution to the wind I rung Ted. I was terrified as I was  totally in awe of his knowledge and wondered how I was going to speak with him without him thinking “who is this fool on the line!”  The phone was answered by a woman, with many apologies for calling uninvited I explained the situation. The woman who was Mrs Jenny Finnie was so nice and told me not to worry that Ted would help . Actually it turned out that Jenny’s knowledge was very extensive also. She worked at Taronga as secretary to the board for years where she met and married Ted. She became his vet nurse in Merriwa for years and a carer of many different species of wildlife. She is is one of the kindest and gentle people I have had the good fortune to meet and call a friend. Anyway After some discussion it was decided Larry & I would get Fidel into a large cage and transport him to the wombat pen where he had been bought up. Not so easy……..  we had a very big cage that my niece Nina had given me which had once been used for Sunny dogs toilet training  when Sunny was a youngster.

We called her Sunny Sunshine was her name and that's what she bought to all that met her!

We called her Sunny Sunshine was her name and that’s what she bought to all that met her!

We threw a large heavy blanket over Fidel and pushed and shoved , grunting and groaning we managed with great difficulty to shove him in. He was protesting, rockin ‘n; rolling around in there with the cage in danger of tipping over. We got the trolley and Larry somehow managed to heave the cage with Fidel ensconced into it and wheel it about 1/4 k over bumpy ground to the wombat pen. It’s most unfortunate I didn’t get a video as in hindsight it would have been amusing but it certainly wasn’t at the time, mass stress all round!! Fidel was not pleased about being locked up but accepted it and used his old burrow still in there. The next day Ted & Jenny came to our place for the first time. Their property is about 60k from our place. It’s a beautiful place about 10 times the size of ours and full of wildlife along with Ted’s cattle , Daisy donkey and her companions , a couple of sheep and beautiful Daisy dog and various others that have passed through there over the years. Fortunately Ted was able to observe Fidel over the fence and was able to diagnose the most probable cause , an abscess which could have been caused by a bite or the like . Just as well because Fidel had decided anyone who entered was a target for attack. Ted gave us some medication which was  crushed and put into a bowl of food we would give him morning and evening for 2 weeks .He still liked eating pellets when offered so that was good. Larry had devise a way of getting out quick once the food was delivered, despite being sick,  Fidel would “attack” any legs that were in his pen. Getting back out of the gate was impossible as Fidel was to fast so you couldn’t get the gate open in time. The only option was to climb up quickly beyond his reach!

Larrys escape from Fidel

Fidel fully recovered and was released from the pen. Larry observed him  for 4 hrs and tried to follow to find out where his burrow was.  He chased Larry a few times and he  went down all the burrows close to the pen and checked them out then headed off up the hillside where I believe his main burrow is and gave Larry the slip!

Poor Fidel sick in his pen.

Poor Fidel sick in his pen.

Splendid Fidel - recoverd!

Splendid Fidel – recovered!

Thanks to Ted Fidel lived on and thanks to Fidel we made 2 wonderful friends who love animals and the natural world as we do. Ted and Jenny are always around to help us with any animal care when we need it. Their help and friendship has enhanced our lives.

 

Ted & Tillie Finnie

Ted & Tillie Finnie

Jenny's swamp wallaby "Tuffy Finnie"

Jenny’s swamp wallaby
“Tuffy Finnie”

A few happenings over the past year.

June 2017 and it’s been well over a year since I updated . It doesn’t seem that long.

Here is a picture of Fidel taken in march 2016.

and he's still visiting   over a year later !

and he’s still visiting over a year later !

I will show you a recent one at the end of the post.

This year we realised we had a resident python “Monty” of course. I spotted him in the front yard one evening and when I went out the next morning found he had shed his entire skin .We have it in one long undamaged piece. Monty shows up in different places and also Larry moves him round the sheds to catch mice . One  morning he was curled up in the carrots. Another morning he came visiting my just vacated chair where I had my early morning cup of tea.

early morning visit , no tea left!

early morning visit , no tea left!

Monty in the front yard

Monty in the front yard

Monty in the carrots

Monty in the carrots

Over the past year we have seen some animals we haven’t seen before . A red-naped snake which Larry spotted outside one night. How he saw it I’m not sure as they don’t get very big even fully grown. He came in and got me then managed to find it again! Adults grow to about 40cm length. They mate once a year and the females lay 1-10 eggs per clutch .The eggs hatch in Jan or Feb and the hatchlings are about 12cm long. It was in Feb we saw this one. They are venomous but not dangerous and are listed as endangered in Vic and sparsely distributed else where so we were lucky to see this one. We released him after having a good look and taking this pic.

red/orange band around neck

red/orange band around neck

In April last year Larry was in the NP with his nephew and family and they spotted  3 Emus. We used to see Emus all the time around here about 15 years ago then they seemed to vanish so it was great to know there are some still around.

3 Emus going for a stroll

3 Emus going for a stroll

wonga pigeon

Wonga Pigeon

Just a few weeks ago as I went out the back screen door a large bird came toward me flying very fast , scraped my arm with feet claws and hit the screen door , flew off to the side of the veranda and  landed on the rail for a few seconds before taking off. I didn’t know what it was but thought it looked like the large native NZ Pigeon but had a different under carriage.I got the bird book out and found it was a Wonga Pigeon . It turned out Larry had seen 2 together  when chopping some wood .They had flown up from the ground as he must have given them a scare. When I looked up the info on them I found they are  rarely seen in flight unless flushed. They forage on the ground and are sedentary and uncommon but can be locally abundant in areas of favourable habitat so we are on the lookout now. This  is an image I have taken off the internet.

Oct last year we had a mother wallaroo with a young  male baby around .The mother was sick  but we don’t know what was  wrong. She was thin,  had no energy and would loose balance at times .We think she bought her baby here as she felt it was safer place for him to be. We had this happen before with a red- necked wallaby. That baby was a bit older and he did survive even though he wasn’t getting any milk.

"Tiny " little wallaroo orphan

“Tiny ” little wallaroo orphan

large hoop

despite our efforts making this hoop Tiny would not be captured!!

Mum wallaroo did die and we tried every way we could to try and catch the baby as he had only just come out of the pouch and we felt without milk he couldn’t get the nourishment he would need to thrive. He was very fast and knew when you were within 10 metres  and try as we might we couldn’t get him. We made a large hoop and tried to get him by dropping that over him but he was way to quick. We tried putting out milk formula in a dish but he wouldn’t go near it .We watched out for him every day and he was surviving but he didn’t seem to thrive .We would look through the binoculars and if we were  on the veranda  he would come really close as he knew we couldn’t get him from there! His fur didn’t look as good as it had and also his eyes looked rheumy. Then suddenly all the wallaroos disappeared into the hills and we didn’t see them for weeks. This happens sometimes then they all appear again. We couldn’t recognise Tiny after that so don’t know what happened to him.

Earlier this year I found Mani dead in the cockatiel cage. There was nothing obvious and it seems he simply “fell of his perch” as it is said. It happened when we had the awful heat wave in Dec 2016. He was never a big strong bird as he had come into care with giardia and almost totally featherless. Even though he completely recovered  he may not have been as strong because of his illness. I think the heat was to much for him . He lived for about 7 years after we took him in and I can’t say how old he was then .Just after Mani went to bird heaven  I found a  little one in the nest with a bit of twine round the foot. I decided I would do some hand rearing and called the tiny creature “small Mani” who is now big Mani and back in with the flock.

small Mani

small Mani

small Mani getting feathers

small Mani getting feathers

 

Mani beautiful now

Mani beautiful now

 

 Last year we had a few tawnies in care . They came to us through members of the public  via the vet in town. They were all successfully released except 1 which had a wing injury which never healed well enough to fly properly.  We currently have a large tawny in care weighing 450grams on intake. Involved in a collision  and has injured the top of his wings on both sides. No broken bones and I’m sure he will be O.K. in a couple of weeks. He has had a course of antibiotics to make sure that no infection set in and is eating well. He has been favouring 1 wing but today he opened it himself for the first time since being in care.

Tawnies in care Dec 2016

Tawnies in care Dec 2016

Pretty Britty left home the first week in May this year. She was here for 3 years 5 months. I was very attached to her and she would keep me company at breakfast looking for her yoghurt and rolled oats .The back veranda  for a late afternoon cup of tea for me and a couple of almonds for her!  A handsome buck started hanging around 6 months ago and he returned intermittently waiting for her to come on heat. The last couple of weeks he wouldn’t let her out of his sight and he even took a kip on the back veranda on several occasions. We would hear them doing the courtship dance some nights. Clomping past our bedroom  at all hours. We had to be careful not to get between them as he may have launched an attack if threatened. Eventually she went off with him. I hope will return one day and show us her a baby.

 

Britty being courted

Britty being courted

afternoon siesta - keeping a firm eye on Britty!

afternoon siesta – keeping a firm eye on Britty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You definitely wouldn't want to get in the way!

You definitely wouldn’t want to get in the way!

Britty & Bozo were good friends . Here they are grazing together Jan this year. As you can Bozo looks healthy and well.

Bozo and Britty grazing together Jan 2017

Bozo and Britty grazing together Jan 2017

A couple of weeks ago Bozo started coming to the front yard alone in the afternoons and he didn’t look to be in good condition any longer. He looked boney  and his fur looked lank and patchy. We soon noticed that his jaw looked very swollen and he was unable to eat properly which had resulted in his bad condition. Over the next few  days he became very ill and we thought he was going to die soon. We can’t be 100% certain but we think he had “lumpy jaw” . Some  symptoms of this are swellings on the jaw and face, difficulty eating and slobbering, weight loss and tiredness. As the animals eat, bacteria accumulates around the teeth.  These bacteria can infect the gums through cuts in the mouth.  Following this the infection can spread into the soft tissue like muscle, tendons and tissues that surrounds bone. The next step
from here is infection of the bone. Some say that lumpy jaw can be caused by the wrong diet in captivity such as feeding pellets and grain all the time. When macropods feed in the wild on grasses, leaves, herbage and branches they chew horizontally .When processed foods are fed the chewing action changes to vertical which tends to compact food into the gums. Bozo was reared on a natural diet  of grazing grasses or cut grass . He has been living free since Nov 2013 and only eats some grain and wheaten chaff occasionally when he comes around the house if we are support feeding due to lack of grasses. He was blinded in 1 eye about a year ago , probably due to trying to depend himself against a stronger bigger buck but he was doing O.K.  He was never an aggressive kangaroo, always friends with everyone.  We had  a female grey came to house front a couple of years ago , she was wild but bought her young baby here. She presented with the same symptoms and she died .The  baby stayed around but we couldn’t get him to come close and take milk but he survived and he’s still around .We called him  Be Bop and he and Bronte’s 2nd baby Bebe are great mates , teenage louts.  In a zoo situation lumpy jaw can be treated if caught in time but we couldn’t do anything here. We would like to try and source a tranquilizer gun. We decided that we couldn’t let Bozo die a painful death so Larry euthanized him. Bozo was 51/2 years old.

baby Bozo

baby Bozo

Big Bozo with Billy

Big Bozo with Billy

Bronte our resident female grey still has her last baby “Bae”  with her. She has had 3 babies now and also has another in pouch. Moses the red-neck is still around and Billy who came into care after Bozo visits occasionally .He is an enormous male and we think he is  Bae’s dad.

Billy

Billy

 

Billy & Bae

Billy & Bae

 

 

 4Bs gang  - Bozo, Bronte, Billy &Bae

4Bs gang – Bozo, Bronte, Billy &Bae

Bozo hopping off

Bozo hopping off

 

A picture of Bozo I snapped as he was going .

Bozo &  Bronte with Bae in pouch June 2016

Bozo and Bronte with Bae in pouch June 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Butcher Birds are still around plus few other   visitors pictured here.

echidna visit

echidna visit

 

mystery insect - can anyone identify this? about 10cm long

mystery insect – can anyone identify this? about 10cm long

 

 

 

 

 

smooth knob-tailed gecko

smooth knob-tailed gecko

 

Plover baby

Plover baby

 

 

 

 

 

strange macropod in the front yard

I spotted this strange macropod in the front yard

 

 

The weather has got a lot colder in the mornings and evenings so the wombats are out and about early eve. We have been getting about 5 that we recognise coming to front yard in the evening eating the fresh grass and yummy grass roots. We found one curled up in the woodpile about 4 weeks ago. He has a tiny spot of mange on his back. We offered him some grain but he was most unimpressed .We followed him to his burrow and have been giving him weekly treatments . Larry is treating about 7 wombats at the moment , some on neighbouring properties.

wombat in the woodpile

wombat in the woodpile

not impressed with grain!

not impressed with grain!

 

 

 

 

 

Below is an image I really like of mum & baby who visit us often.

 

I love my mummy

I love my mummy

Currently in care I have a little female grey. She came in from a member of the public in town. Her mother was killed by a car. She had been keep for 4 days and given cows milk  before being handed over. I don’t know what else had happened to her but she was very sick. She had thrush and couldn’t suck.. I have had her for 3 weeks  and it has taken that long to stabilize her . She is now thriving . Her name is “Worm” .

The little "Worm"

The little “Worm”

and here is ” Fidel the Splendid Wombat” taken last month.

Fidel May 2017

Fidel May 2017

I know this update is bitsy but leaving things for a over a year makes it hard to pick up the thread. I hope you enjoyed some of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying-Foxes make Camp

Watching the Flying Foxes. The camp is about 250 metres on the river bank before our place and stretches along through the trees about 250 metres in length.

Watching the Flying Foxes.
The camp is about 250 metres on the river bank before our place and stretches along through the trees about 250 metres in length.

 

A couple of months ago we heard the distinctive sound of Flying Foxes . We have never seen Flying Foxes here although we are told they have been here before.  Bats are the only mammals capable of  sustained flight. Conservation of our Flying Foxes is really important because of their role in the pollination and seed dispersal of Australian forest trees. Grey Headed Flying Foxes are listed as vulnerable , due to the logging of their habitat. They are found in coastal south-eastern Australia from Victoria to Miriam Vale in Queensland ,and inland to the western slopes. Adults weigh from 600-1000g with a forearm of 140-175 mm. In captivity they can live for 30 years. To my knowledge there is no accurate data for lifespan in the wild although scientists have used growth rings in the teeth which show some animals have existed for over 20 years.

Last night about 7.45pm I was having a cold shower outside. The moon was not quite full but full enough to illuminate the night . Directly above me almost close enough to touch thousands of Flying Foxes were heading out from camp to feed . It took about 20 minutes for them all to pass by. It really was a wonderful sight and I thought how lucky I was to see that at home.

up close and personal

up close and personal

A very different experience from seeing them fly out over the city areas . I thought about Stellaluna , my little orphan I raised and wondered if she might be among them! She did come here for a weekend .Her and I travelled from Sydney by train .She was snuggled up in the pocket in front of my T.shirt, custom made for her. She was first taken to the crèche at Gordon for a few weeks before release as there is a large colony live there. On release she went to Gordon Railway Station and landed on a man’s shoulder .Fortunately this fellow liked the FFs and knew them and about the crèche so he took her there. All the ones at the crèche were tagged ( also had an item of mum’s clothing to hang beside) so Judy who runs the crèche knew who it was. She was kept there for a few more weeks before releasing again. I reckon she was trying to get back to mum and remembered (who says they have no memory) that the train might take her there.

Stellaluna  grape munching

Stellaluna
grape munching

Stellaluna almost flying

Stellaluna almost flying

To a tired bat In the city overhead power lines look like a nice branch to rest on. Usually they will be electrocuted when they reach for the next “branch”. During October to December  often the female bats that stop to rest on the power lines,  are carrying their baby (extra weight) and tired from having to look after two.If you see a bat hanging on a powerline by itself during the day, it is either seriously injured or dead. In either case, please always be on the lookout for a baby as they often survive the electrocution and can live for up to four days clinging to their mother. If there are any signs of life for the adult and/or baby, please call a wildlife rescue line immediately,  and note the street address and if possible the power pole numbers.

Energy companies  assist bat carers to retrieve bats from power lines although they can take some time and some orphans may die during the wait. When we lived in Sydney Larry devised a pole arrangement for retrieving bats of power lines. It’s illegal so I certainly don’t advise anyone to do such a dangerous thing. However, he was successful in saving some without electrocuting himself. I had a little orphan named “Electra”  of course! Power lines and aerial wires kill thousands of flying fox yearly. Crocodiles, snakes, white bellied sea eagles, power owls and goannas are known predators of flying foxes.

Goanna with flying fox

Goanna with flying fox

Crows,Dingoes, domestic dogs and foxes are also seen around camps, probably scavenging for dead individuals. We have discovered that Goanna’s also prey on Flying Foxes.

Since I last posted an update Larry has spotted a Squirrel Glider so we know they are around here also .Unfortunately he didn’t have his camera. He also saw an Eastern yellow Robin, although said to be common we haven’t seen any here before. We were excited that we had flocks of musk lorikeets visiting for a couple of months. We have never seen any type of lorikeet here before.

Musk lorikeets visiting

Musk lorikeets visiting

bearded dragon2

Bearded Dragon

 I spotted this Bearded Dragon sun baking while doing some raking . He went off into his log when he realised I was around .

Bearded Dragon home

Bearded Dragon home

The Koels have done their yearly pass through. We haven’t heard one for a week so we think they have moved on. Although we are delighted when they arrive those of you who hear the constant Koel cry will understand when we say ,thank goodness! They had  fierce competition this year from the resident Friar birds for the Mulberries.

visiting Koel

visiting Koel

We have 2 trees which came out in lots of berries this year but we didn’t get to eat any!  Koels love them along with loquats which we didn’t know we had as we thought the tree was an avocado. We did get some of them though  which I made into very tasty jam. The friar birds had their yearly feast on the silky oak flowers and were drunk for weeks!

Silky Oak in flower

Silky Oak in flower

Bronte still comes and spends time here in the house paddock and is now having her third baby, she’s a wonderful mother .Bebe is nearly as large her and still drinking milk. All those manuals that say wean greys at 12mths have got it wrong! We have had proof more than once now. We had a mother grey with a very young a baby that started coming here and she had a nasty mouth wound .We couldn’t get anywhere near her and felt sure she was going to die. Larry found her dead down on the river bank a couple of weeks later. The young one would come here sometimes with Bronte and Bebe , sometimes with Bozo who is sometimes  here with Bronte .We think the pouch young she is carrying now is probably his. We called the other youngster Bebop and tried to get near thinking we might be able to bottle feed but to no avail. Surprisingly a couple of months later this little one was still around and managed to survive without milk. I think having a safe place to come to would have also helped. I guess this means that you can wean earlier but if it’s possible not to. If you look closely at the image of Bebop you can see that the fur doesn’t look as healthy as Bebe or Britty I will stick with what I have always done with the greys and  give milk till at least 16 – 18 months regardless of what a lot of the manuals say!

Orphan Bebop

Orphan Bebop

We haven’t seen Bebop for a while now but it is possible especially if a little girl she may have managed to join a group, we hope so.

Britty is about 2 years old now, still at home ……..   completely free as she has been most of her life. Wallaroos are independent at about 16mths old but Britty seems to like it round here. Maybe she will always stay round and bring her babies like Bronte does. We have noticed a very handsome buck hanging around and heard footsteps in the night on the back veranda that sounded to loud for Britty. Larry got up and had a look and it was the buck !

Britty relaxed ,resting

Britty relaxed ,resting

Pretty Britty

Pretty Britty

Raising Britty has been very different from the greys .Wallaroos are macropods with attitude! Britty hisses and swipes the broom which she dislikes and bites me occasionally if she feels like it!

Bebe drinking.

Bebe drinking.

The cockatiels are still very happy and are now 12.Since I took these pics 3 more have been born .We were very surprised to see Lemmon. A cockatiel this colour would not survive long in the wild. We are now taking the eggs away as breeding cockatiels in captivity is not what we want to do.

Young Chu baby of Chu & Mani

Young Chu
baby of Chu & Mani

You may remember me talking about the horses that live about 6 ks before our place. When we moved here there were two.”Bailey” mare and “Rebel” stallion. Along came “Twinkle” who we watched being born. I was privileged and I was asked to name her. Now  there are two more , Teensy and Tiny!

Lemmon - baby of Lady and Fu

Lemmon – baby of Lady and Fu

Little lady  baby of Lady and Fu

Little lady
baby of Lady and Fu

mum Bailey and Tiny

mum Bailey and Tiny

They all get very excited when we pull up at there paddock , running over and neighing !We received a phone call from the owners asking us if we would like Twinkie .naturally we declined , who would split up a herd of almost wild horses that have such a great life! When I say “their paddock” it’s an enormous piece of  land and no one bothers them . They have a dam  for water and when grass is scarce the owners always bring hay for them .We really enjoy stopping for a visit when we go through their turf.

We have had yet another gala that came into care via Merriwa town. Picked up in a backyard unable to fly and was getting a hard time from the others. We kept her and rested her for a couple of weeks then into a bigger space then a successful release.

Galah released  - happy to be up and away!

Galah released – happy to be up and away!

The king parrots are around and I will have a race to beat them to the ripe pomegranets which they love eating. This season I have found some recipes to try, green beans with pomegranet  , beetroot,  fig & pomegranet salad with goats cheese , yum, yum.

Mr & Mrs King Parrot

Mr & Mrs King Parrot

We had a young adult Tawny Frogmouth come into to care a couple of weeks ago. Sadly it had  got caught on a barbed wire fence in town. The chap that found it managed to get it off the barbed wire but it had sustained some wounds to the left wing. We applied antibiotic cream and also used a 7 day course of oral antibiotics, strapped the wing for support and left it strapped for a week .he was lovely bird , as they all are. He ate well and the open wound healed but the wing obviously ,unfortunately had dislocated at the shoulder when we checked after the week. We had to have him euthanased which is always sad but with a dislocation there is no choice.

You can see the dropped left wing.

You can see the dropped left wing.

What would an update  be without a report on Splendid Fidel. He has been free now for 13mths and I can finally say that I am satisfied that I did a good job and he is a   free living wild wombat. He turns up at the house paddock some nights as that is part of his territory. I can still touch him but he is quite stand offish and  does his own thing .It’s very easy to lose your heart to a wombat.

Fidel today  -the splendid wombat!

Fidel today -the splendid wombat!

 

tiny Fidel

tiny Fidel

Fidel being a juvenile delinquent and other happenings.

It’s been months since I attempted to write an update. The time here passes so quickly.  I’m not sure if it’s that line that older people can’t help saying to kids ” just wait till you get older and a year will seem like 5 minutes ” or am I just to occupied with being lay back ,answering my email ,doing a bit of raking, watching the wild life and reading! Britty keeps me outside in the paddock with the other wallaroos from about 1.30 pm – 5.00pm so reading is a very good option as movement and noise scares them off. Good for the mind but bad for the middle age spreading behind! I had been sleeping outside for about  3  weeks as it was time to get Britty grazing in the paddock at night.I was driven back in by the big buffoon “Fidel”.  I was just getting into bed about 11pm one night when I noticed a wombat about Fidel’s size in the centre of the paddock. There have been 3 coming at different times .Fidel would often turn up at dusk when the grain goes out for the macropods ,have a nibble then go off. About 11.00pm another about his size would turn up ,nibble then go off .Early hours of the morning I would often be woken by loud crunching  and it would be a very large wombat eating grass .I thought the wombat that night was the regular when I suddenly saw the nose go up and sniff the air. Next thing Fidel had launched himself up into my bed . Sleeping with him is not a pleasure ,  when he was small and cuddly in his bag it was O.K.  Now he bites hard and has a distinct wombat smell which I don’t actually find unpleasant but it wouldn’t be good to go about smelling like a wombat. Since then he has decided that a kip in that bed is a good idea at what ever hour he chooses so I have had to give up my night viewing for now. The time out there was long enough to get Britty brave enough to go out the front on her own for sort bursts of time so that’s O.K.  I had the bed folded up and he would appear in there at different times .I know he has different burrows as well as I managed to follow him a couple of times so he must treat the bed as a rest burrow that he knows won’t have any other wombat in it. Since his release in January he has been attacked twice and had a big patch on his rump plus a bald forehead .

Fidelforeheadattack

forehead attack

The fur is now growing back and he’s not looking so much like an old threadbare carpet so I was quite pleased he could hide away in the folded bed if he wanted to while the fur grew back. The past couple of months has been great for observing wombats as they are out during the day in the cool temperatures . Just around the 3 house paddocks we have seen 3 mothers with babies and many adults .

butt Attack

butt Attack

mum & baby grazing

mum & baby grazing

Most of them are  healthy. Larry has been treating the wombats that have mange for quite some time now between our place and 3 properties before here. When we do see one with some mange we start the treatment program. The opinions of “wombat people ” differ. We are not “wombat experts” just observe the animals around us and do what we can . I think that wombats that live in areas where the land is not farmed, don’t have horrible fencing everywhere and are appreciated for the splendid species they are  live a life with less stress so their immune system copes better with the mange mite. Just a laypersons opinion. We will continue with what we do as it really does seem to be working. If we get a drought and food supply and water becomes short that might make their life a lot more stressful so we will see what happens. A couple of weeks after using the bed burrow Fidel started making a pest of  himself .Getting to big for the bed burrow .His fur  almost grown back and  looking quite big, bigger than a few of the wombats we have seen round alone now. I’ve had to remove the bed as he decided to haul it out onto the lawn , yank on the mattress , torn sheets and blankets strewn ………   a total pest and bitting me if I go near him .He’s off in his burrow now ,probably with the sulks ! After I took the bed away he came for few nights and tipped over the chairs on the front veranda , dragged down the cushions and mangled them ,dragged my gumboots about and a few other minor crimes. I moved everything and 1 week later he was back to being a proper wombat. Comes, mooches about and eats then departs. I don’t go near him but do get Larry to put the torch over him sometimes and make sure he’s looking O.K. again .I do miss being able to pet him but I know I have to leave him alone as he’s to bonded to me.  I guess soon we probably won’t see him much as he will start becoming sexually mature and probably have a bigger roaming  territory and he will be able to defend himself better.

snugasabuginarug

snug as a bug in a rug – Fidel in his “safe” burrow

who is in my bed

who is my bed?

It’s time to get Britty out in the paddocks grazing day and night. Wallaroos are so  different to Greys that I did think for while that she might have a head injury . I have no back round as to why she was in a paddock alone at only 1800 grams. Maybe she had been thrown from the pouch ( macropod mums will do that if they think there  is danger ) and landed on her head! The reason for this thinking is that I am not used to seeing a macropod lose balance and  do flips and somersaults while running from some sound that is hardly audible or perhaps a shadow of something flapping and the list goes on. I am used to greys who are contented to lounge back  in their pouch till about 8kilos and often have to be tipped out.

The bed thief – when I went out in the morning this is what I found – wombats obviously rearrange the blankets to their liking

the bed when I left the night before !

the bed when I left the night before ! Fidel in centre

Once out leap on a couch or on to the bed and settle down for kip.  Not so a wallaroo.  Wallaroos are out of mums pouch and at heel by 4 kilo . Britty likes to be with me or rather should I say me with her wherever she needs to be grazing. I seem to be spending a lot of time outdoors in the cold! Watching the ones around us at her age they stay close to mum at all times but I think getting close to venturing away.The mums seem to have pouch young and legs and tails can be seen so maybe when these emerge to heel the ones at heel now start venturing off on their own. I suppose I will find out soon. Briity  had a gut complaint for about 7 weeks which didn’t stop her from feeding at all but resulting in very sloppy faeces and her not  being well.

poor Britty very weak,  sick in bed

poor Britty very weak, sick in bed

After going through everything I could find to read I decided that this was result of me giving her far to much rich cut grass from town which also held her back from grazing as she loved that grass and also came to expect grass just materialises where you sit and you eat it ,yum,yum. Watching wallaroos it is apparent that eat rough , lots of roots, dirt , old leaves, bark  so I thought I probably messed with her gut flora. . Rich cut grass no longer full time  on the menu . I got some macropod herbal medicine from a woman who specialises in it, sent to me from Victoria . A treatment for internal thrush, just in case ,and an  immune system booster .With that and the use of protexin probiotic  and some good grazing hours  she seemed somewhat better but the problem still persisted. This problem was very worrying and it was apparent she was not really well .I called the macropod guru, Lynda Staker, in desperation.   After weeks of trying many things then talking to Lynda the problem was finally identified .Animal pellets which were recommended in macropod care manuals (and in Lynda’s older manual)  were always thought to be O.K. but are now recognised as not so. They are basically carbohydrates and very bad for macropods causing a condition in many called by Lynda  “sloppy gut syndrome ”  . The pellets are now barred from here ,never to be given to another macropod and all is well. This information regarding pellets is  in Lynda’s latest updated manual of 2 volumes! Needless to say I have now updated. Britty is completely recovered ,stacking on weight , now well over 9 kilos ,  grazing full on and has  only some wheaten charf on the veranda, her safe place, which she eats very little of. Wallaroo males are very sturdy and although not as tall as some of the large grey bucks they are very broad chested. The males are a dark grey while females are light grey with yellow tinges around the face and yellowish tails. Males can weigh up to 46.5 kilo while female are much smaller at 25kilo at full adult weight.

2 large male wallaroos having an afternoon spa

2 large male wallaroos having an afternoon spa

realized they were  being watched - took off together!

realized they were being watched – took off together!

We had choughs and babblers build nests in the house paddock . We thought there were a few baby choughs in the nest as the screeching for food is worse than  a lorikeet .Those of you who have been fortunate or unfortunate  to raise an orphaned lorikeet will understand……..   Yesterday morning I noticed a baby had left the nest and was sitting in the tree while an adult near by seemed to be trying to herd it back into the nest . Later in the day while sitting with Britty I saw the little horror heading as fast as it’s legs could go up the paddock and across the road up to the hillside with an adult chasing it making sounds of disapproval and fanning it with wings , to no avail. It can’t fly yet  The adult made a call and  within a  minute the little rouge was surrounded by the family , about 8 adults . We got the bird net and caught the offender who is now in the kangaroo pen .The adults are feeding it and at night we are putting him in a cage for safety . Once he can manage to fly out of the pen he can join the family.

kanagrooavairy

new kangaroo pen which so far has only been used for the rouge chough – the pen has wire fencing with shade cloth on inside and outside

choughs nest - round mud nest

choughs nest – round mud nest

babblers nest  - large nest made of twigs

babblers nest – large nest made of twigs

 Unfortunately after a couple of days the chough discovered it could climb up the shade cloth which made the adult choughs go crazy trying to keep it under control . We thought we were doing the right thing and put him in a large cage within the enclosure so the adults could feed him through the bars, hoping that it’s tail feathers would be long enough soon for flight. This was going  well till I got up one morning and couldn’t hear the usual din going on. I knew something was wrong, no adults around .When I got there I found the young chough dead. Maybe a boobook had tried to get him ( this sometimes happens at the cockatiel aviary) and caused him to have a  heart attack , we don’t know what happened .There were no visible marks but I realised I should have put him in  a box at night and taken him indoors or maybe just not interfered at all .The choughs have returned so maybe they might use the same nest again .We will let nature take it’s course next time.

The babblers are doing fine , lots of babbling and bathing  as the weather has now heated up. Since I began writing this Spring has arrived.

For the past 3 weeks I have been watching the young  magpies develop into juvenile birds. Although we had lots of young magpies come into care in Sydney  I have never had the privilege of watching them develop daily naturally in the wild. I have really enjoyed this .I love the sound  magpies make. It’s lovely to hear their song early in the morning. With Spring here the weather is lovely.early in the morning. While sitting out the front giving Britty her morning bottle  my 2 currawong friends “Magnum” and “Mustang” come for their morning grapes, sulphur crested cockatoos, galahs, red rumps ,peaceful doves, wood ducks and more on the front lawn feeding  and  the magpie song as well all at the same time gives me a wonderful sense of well being. It is at these times when I often think of people that I have loved in my life even though they are no longer alive and feel grateful that they were part of my life and still are in happy memories. With so much misery going on in the world I feel fortunate to experience a sense of wellbeing at times surrounded by nature.

Magnum and Mustang waiting for their morning grapes

Magnum and Mustang waiting for their morning grapes

About time, how long do I have to wait for my grape!?

About time, how long do I have to wait for my grape!?

My friend Sandi , bird vet nurse from Sydney finally made it here for a couple of days. It was great to see her and I hope she and partner Jason will come again.  We had a beautiful adult tawny frogmouth bought to us a few weeks ago and thanks to Sandi’s lessons on giving injections to birds (when we were in Sydney) we were able to give it the care it needed and released it about a week later . He had collided with a car but fortunately a bird lover was travelling behind and stopped and picked him up. He was  gaga for a couple of days and we had to keep him going on fluids but then able to  push food into his throat, a mouse at dawn and some heart at dusk  and he began to swallow .Adult tawny’s often won’t eat in captivity voluntarily . After about 5 days of eating he was putting on some weight and eyes bright once again so time to go. We took him back to where he was picked up, about 10 ks from here, and off he went.

not well - Tawny Frogmouth in care

not well – Tawny Frogmouth in care

Sandi and Jason

Sandi and Jason

 

Larry picked up a female wallaroo that been stuck in a ghastly rabbit fence about 8 ks before our place . He has been cutting sections out of bit by bit to make easier access for the wildlife as he found a juvenile wombat stuck in there one day so  decided the fence needed some modification and clearly the owners weren’t going to do it .The wallaroo had managed to tug herself free by the time Larry got to her but she had rolled down a gully and was fitting. He picked her up and bought her home. She was registering our presence but was unable to move at all. She had a broken neck and we think some spinal damage as well. She had to be euthanased . She had very small pouch young. A 52gram embryo with his ears still stuck o his head black bulbs for eyes and a small opening in the mouth for the teat. I thought he was probably to small to be viable but he proved me wrong as he was very strong. I had to feed him every 3 hrs and he stabilised after 3 days and was doing O.K. I had him for 5 days. We had to let the fire go out to clean it and I put an electric blanket under his basket . I thought I had the blanket stable on 30%.The right temp is very important with young animals and he needed to be in an enclosure 30-32% maximum. I went to attend to Britty  who very sick at the time and it all took longer than I thought it would , took my eye off the temp checking and the temp soared up to 39% .He was dead of course , had completely dehydrated . It was very upsetting, maybe there was a surge as that can happen with solar power. I have always told other people not to overload and then end up doing it myself , it was stupid and careless.

Samson sleeping with his dummy, substitute teat.

Samson sleeping with his dummy, substitute teat.

Feeding Samson

Feeding Samson

My nephew Tim enjoys taking photos and takes some great shots . He lives  up North in Wonga .He has family of Kookaburras that visit his backyard  and hunt from his back fence. He sent me this shot.

Tim's visiting Kookaburra family.

Tim’s visiting Kookaburra family.

 Laughing Kookaburra are easy to  recognise by  plumage and voice. They are off-white below, faintly barred with dark brown, and brown on the back and wings. The tail is  broadly barred with black. There is a  dark brown eye-stripe through the face. It is one of the larger members of the kingfisher family. In Eastern Qld we get the Blue-winged Kookaburra. The Blue-winged Kookaburra doesn’t have the brown eye-stripe, it has a blue tail and a large amount of blue in the wing, and  a pale eye. I can’t tell from the pic which these are. Tim tells me they were very pleased that he was able to give them a good feed of baby rats a couple of days ago as he found a nest in a place that was unwelcome!

Here's a shot I like of Bronte  that Tim took when he was here.

Here’s a shot of Bronte Tim took when he was here.

Fidel’s fur has grown back on his forehead and almost completely on his rump. He is looking  good once again. Britty is getting more independent by the day , much to my relief, and now weighs 9700 grams. I have started giving her less milk and I’m sure she will be independent quite soon. She goes off grazing when she feels like it now without worrying to much about where I am.

The cuckoo -shrikes have started arriving so we should see some channel-billed cuckoos and koels soon also.

Bozo still about sometimes - with Bobo

Bozo still about sometimes – with Bobo

Big Bozo  - night visit

Big Bozo – night visit

We just collected another 260 trees to plant .The majority are Casuarina trees for the Casuarina Cockatoos to munch on in the future we hope. Larry will be busy planting them over the next month.

Pretty Britty - well again!

Pretty Britty – well again!

Britty - great profile !

Britty – great profile !

Fidel beautiful again !

Fidel beautiful again !