Showing posts from September, 2012


Just a timely reminder that snake season is upon us. A friend of mine just reported his first Red bellied black snake of the season so they are on the move after their winter slumber. A search of 'Canberra snakes' on trove reveal a myriad of snake reports across the Canberra City and suburbs. Sometimes described in nearly plague proportions.

The motto of the day though seems to have been 'a good snake is a dead snake' and the reports usually indicate a grisly end for the reptile. They killed them in the City centre, they killed them on the lawns of Parliament House and they killed them at Yarralumla. One report stood out from the others with the story of catching a Brown snake with a live frog attached to a fishing line...

Western Argus (Kalgoorlie) - Tuesday 12 January 1932

National Library of Australia


All bar the last fox in this video all the feral animals shown were filmed in one small area of Namadgi over irregular 4 day to 1 week settings of a motion activated wildlife camera. It was only when filing these clips away and deleting hundreds of captured images that I thought I would put them in a video.

These short settings of the camera are like small windows into the environment. They capture the natural goings on of an environment, just like this one on a creek clearing in the scrub...

I have mentioned this before but my overriding interest is identifying remaining occupied habitat of Spotted quolls, Once known around here as Tiger cats. They are today an endangered worry. Feral predation has been their downfall, predominantly dogs and foxes, since European settlers finished hunting them mercilessly.

I'm not interested in the known areas. I'll leave them to the learned but if I'm going to be out and about with wildlife cameras I wouldn't mind identifying areas …


UPDATED : 30/9/12 - E-mail from a descendant of William Chippendale Re: Resting place is actually of William Herbert.  (I have left the original post about Michael Herbert for continuity of the story...
Often overlooked at the bridge over the Gudgenby River on Nass Road is a monument to Michael Herbert, first settler in the Nass region. As far as is reported Mr Herbert died in a flood and it was not possible to move him before burial. Sadly a tragedy with Strychnine saw the burial in the same place of two of his grandchildren...

The Canberra Times - Saturday 25 February 1939

National Library of Australia
So a monument dated 1956 suggesting Herbert's death was about a hundred years prior to that. 1856?  Interestingly 156 years ago. I can date one of Herbert's children's (not grandchild) death to 1865 with a strange report mentioning Strychnine but recording a death of  'convultions' The Nanny was a bit suspect...

The spot …


We are all pretty used to seeing Eastern grey kangaroos in roadside paddocks around Canberra. A bit of a paradise for them really, ample food and water and their only predators, particularly of the young, being cats, dogs and foxes.

It is thought that possibly half of all joeys migrating from 'pouch-ling' to 'foot-ling' will be taken by a feral predator. Things are pretty good in Canberra though for the Greys. In fact populations in the City's suburbs require periodic culling to maintain sustainable populations.

Only a few kilometres out of the Canberra City proper though things change. Where the vegetation turns dense and mountainous different macropod species begin to emerge in the bushland. Red necked wallabies, Wallaroo and Swamp wallabies dominate the forests leaving the open plains for their bigger cousins the Greys.

This video is a compilation of videos of these different species captured in the mountains of Namadgi National Park...

The cameo appearance from…


I thought I had found every variation of Canberra's name. Everything from a 'woman's breasts' to a 'berry tree'. I won't add links here but a search of 'naming' in the search function to the right should provide the array of opinion as to the name's origin. This article is titled Yarralumla and that name is discussed also.

This article questions the reliability of recorded place and animal names and their meaning and offers the suggestion that the 'erra' in Canberra means mountain and that anything placed before that is descriptive. eg. Canb-erra = timbered mountain, Jerrabomb-erra = mountain range and that Urri-arra = stoney mountain.

Interestingly Queen Nellie when interviewed said that 'nobody knew'. But as is suggested in the anecdote maybe there was too much 'yabba' (too inquisitive)...

The Federal Capital Pioneer Magazine - Thursday 21 April 1927

National Library of Australia


Gibraltar Falls is a 50 meter high waterfall located on Corin Road in the west of the ACT and spring is the time the waterfall's most famous resident is most active...
The waterfall area is the habitat of the Waterfall redspot dragonfly. Each spring I visit a few times to try and see this insect and perhaps photograph it. This rare dragonfly only inhabits the spash zones of waterfalls and I suspect this could occur at any point along its 50 meter cascade.
The first mention I can find of the waterfall is an article in the Queanbeyan Age dated 1871 which apparently records its discovery...
Queanbeyan Age - Thursday 30 November 1871

National Library of Australia
So the waterfall's splash zones extend a long distance below the viewing platform. I haven't the time but any amateur Entomologists out there looking for a unique opportunity to do a little wildlife photography might find the location worthwhile.

The platform would be a good place to spend a few hours in a quiet time with…