Heat sensor camera

Here are a few pictures taken in Wombat Forest by night vision cameras. This is part of a project cataloguing the animals living in this part of the woods. My friend David (who also does guided forest walks, see other my wildlife posts about that) is one of the volunteers who checks on the cameras. All images copyright Wombat Forestcare in conjunction with VPNA Naturewatch.

Here is a wombat, very curious.

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Koalas are best at climbing trees, not walking. Their gait always looks pretty awkward.

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So when you walk around the forest, look very carefully indeed. There are animals out there… Went for a bushwalk around Badger’s creek (or so David said, I never have a clue where we are) this morning, saw kangaroos but nothing else.

This project is funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country, the R.E. Ross Trust and the ANZ Staff Foundation. You can keep up to date with what is happening and see latest photos on the VNPA Facebook page.

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Guided forest strolls

For the last couple of years I have been walking occasionally in the forest with a friend of mine, David. He really knows the area, and it is a great thing to do. Recently he has decided to do it in a professional way, and is offering guided forest walks (or strolls, if that is more your thing). The rate is a flat $50 regardless of if it is just the one of you, or more. Walking in the forest is another world. You are extremely likely to see kangaroos and wallabies, and likely to see wombats too. And if the wombat is not at home, he can most certainly show you their lair. On occasion the odd echidna or koala will be around as well. One fell off his tree right in front of David once. A koala, not an echidna. They don’t favour trees. Well, it was a very windy day. All the pictures in my bushwalking section and wildlife section on this blog are taken from walks with David. If you want to see old gold mines, he can take you there as well.

tipperary

Below┬áis his brochure, it’s a little hard to read so I have typed it out for clarity. I really recommend this as an activity whilst visiting Daylesford! David is the one with the snow covered hat, taken this winter.

Daylesford Forest Strolls

The Wombat Forest is one of the jewels in Victoria’s crown. With surrounding parks, it provides over 900 square kilometres of native vegetation, rivers, hills and animal habitats. Having explored the forest over the past 16 years, I have selected a series of walks which best display the forest and the history of the region.

A walk typically consists of a half hour drive from Daylesford in my vehicle, in to the bush, a guided walk of between 1,5-2 hours, and then the return drive. You will have the opportunity to learn about the events which have shaped the region, to enjoy our beautiful plant communities, and with luck, observe some of the wonderful native animals which abound in the forest. All walks contain some gentle slopes, and forest tracks can be a little muddy, but no special level of fitness is required, only a pair of good walking shoes. Walks are $50 total regardless of numbers, single walkers welcome. Cash payment only.

Call David on 0428 112 378 or email asic45(at)gmail.com.

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A little wombat

Here is a well nourished little wombat to encourage you to take a bushwalk. You never know who you will come across! Did you know that wombats mostly communicate with each other through smell, but also have a little coughing noise when they pass each other? Very polite.

”Cough, cough. Ahem. I am just passing through, don’t mind me!”

”Cough, cough. That’s alright, just keep moving now! Cough, cough.”

Meet one of the locals

echidna

Bushwalking in the area is excellent, with many tracks and little roads leading who knows where. Here are some pics taken this week by my neighbour whom I sometimes walk with. When the echidnas start to move, so do the snakes. Walkers beware!

wallaby

Look carefully and you will see the wallaby looking back. Just before jumping off, most likely. If you see any wildlife, just enjoy the encounter. They will want to get away from you as fast as they can. If you have dogs, keep them on a lead. Even if you think your dog is reliable, it may well give chase and that could be the last you see of it. My neighbour also came across a dog which looked well cared for but totally lost. What did the wild animals do to deserve that in their forest, I ask? Keep them leashed. Natives get easily stressed.

wombat

And a wombat, looking endearing. You can very easily tell if there are wombats around by their scats. They are SQUARE. Yup, no kidding. How this is possible, I have no idea. You will see little piles everywhere. My neighbour tells me this is how they mark their territory. They will defend it, too. I feel I need a special soundtrack to wombats, they are kind of lumbering. Dum-ti-dum-ti-dum-ti-dum… Just crossing the path here, dum-ti-dum-ti-dum. Did you know the wombat pouch is back to front? This is so that when they dig, the joeys don’t get a pocket full of dirt. Dum-ti-dum-ti-dum…

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I have learnt something very interesting about wombats. As they are prey to dingos (and wild dogs) they have a defence which actually kills the dingos. Here’s how: The dingo chases the wombat. The wombat runs for its lair, and slips in but waits just inside, rock hard backside to the entrance. Dingo arrives, sticks head in, the wombat crushes the head of the dingo towards the roof of the lair but quickly lifting its rear up to the lair roof, and there it is, dead dingo. Then they push the dingo out and sometimes drape it across the top of the lair as a warning to other dingos. Incredible. I hope it is true, I read it on the internet and I might just be perpetrating a myth. A good story, either way. I like to think they can protect themselves as they are so wonderful.