Porcupine Gorge wildlife

As I said a few days ago, the wildlife at Porcupine Gorge  was abundant when I visited it last week. Here’s a sample of photos under the three broad headings of mammals, birds and invertebrates (i.e. insects and spiders). I did see some reptiles as well – a goanna and a frill-necked lizard (I think) on the road, and several small skinks around the gorge – but have no photos to share here.

Mammals

A large wallaby or small kangaroo species was quite common in the early mornings but I’m not sure which species: possibly red kangaroo or agile wallaby, but I’m inclined to think they were Antilopine Kangaroos, Macropus antilopinus. If so, they were at the Southern end of their known range.

Porcupine Gorge
An adult on the move

Porcupine gorge
A well-grown joey

A much smaller macropod visited my campsite on two successive evenings. Again, I’m not sure of the species, but Rufous Bettong are nocturnal and known in the area.

The only other wild mammal I saw was an enormous feral cat, dead on the road. I glimpsed it as I drove past, wondered what native animal was black, came up with only the Tasmanian Devil (which seemed highly unlikely) and decided I should have a look. Having stopped and discovered the truth, I hauled it off the road. That’s something we should all do more often, actually, since scavenging birds so frequently pay for their meal with their life.

Birds

I was disappointed by the lack of a dawn chorus on my first morning at the gorge but the birds made up for it on the next day: there was quite a conversation above my tent, in fact, sounding like unusually polite magpies but, as I found, actually Pied Butcherbirds.

Pale-headed Rosellas were common, Galahs and a pair of Plovers with at least three chicks were visiting the waterhole as I returned from the Gorge lookout, and a Wedge-tailed Eagle was feasting on roadkill beside the road to the Lynd, as were numerous black kites elsewhere. Other sightings included a Goshawk over the Lookout, Crows, Magpies, Pee-wits, Noisy Friarbirds, Little Friarbirds, a Diamond Dove, Apostlebirds, my first-ever wild Cockatiel, Yellow-throated Miners, and several flights of small green parrots (probably budgerigars, but too fast and too far away to be sure). I saw hardly any of the very small birds – no brown honeyeaters or the like, and no finches or wrens except for a  small flock which I saw too briefly to identify.

Click on any of these small images to scroll through larger images with more information.

Invertebrates

Butterflies and grasshoppers were everywhere, taking advantage of the good green feed. The commonest lepidoptera by far were the Caper Gull, Common Crow and Grass Yellow – and the Blues and grass moths, which are too small and secretive for easy portraiture. Dragonflies were quite numerous, too, even a long way from water. The other really obvious invertebrate was one of our largest species of spider, a Golden Orb Weaver. Webs a metre across with large spiders and their stash of prey debris in the middle are hard to miss.

Again, click on any of these small images to scroll through larger images with more information.

I came home with far more photos than I have included in this post and will add more of them to my Porcupine Gorge album on flickr, which already contains twenty photos from my previous trip.

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