Saturday, August 26, 2017

Unnamed Creek in Namadgi Remote Camera Setup


Beautiful weather in Namadgi today so I decided to put out a couple of remote wildlife cameras. This is the third setting at the location in the last several weeks. Both of the cameras are set to take a photograph followed by 30 seconds of video before resetting. I plsn on leaving the cameras out for a week picking them up next weekend. I'm very interested in the wild dogs and feral cats of the area. I took some video today on my way...

Friday, August 18, 2017

David's Creek Remote Camera Results 2


The results of a five day setting of two remote cameras in Namadgi National Park near Canberra. I have developed an interest in the feral cat and dog population of an area in the Gibraltar Creek catchment. This setting saw the filming of wombats, a wallaby and, unfortunately another feral cat.

This makes the third cat photographed in the space of three weeks if you count the days the cameras were out in three different locations within kilometres of each other. Noted was the fact that none of these moggies looked underfed and all appeared to be the same common tabby cat colour.

I took some video when I collected the cameras and the results are on the end..

Saturday, August 12, 2017

David's Creek Remote Camera Results


The results of two remote cameras I put out in Namadgi National Park last Tuesday. I am becoming very interested in this particular location. The richness of wildlife in the area is outstanding although I am finding very few smaller marsupials generally with a ring tailed possum being the only representative of its size. My thinking it is probably because of the feral carnivore poulation of wild dogs and feral cats that have popped up on the cameras 4 times..

I took some video today when I collected the cameras to give people an idea of the area I am operating in and have attached the results of the setting on the end..

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Discovery of David's Creek - Remote Camera Setup



Continuing with my growing feral species obsession I took an afternoon stroll and looked for what I thought might be a decent sort of mountain creek that I had noticed on Google Earth. It is a tributary of the Gibraltar and Billy Billy Creek system and apparently was never worthy of an official name which is interesting because it is an interesting system in itself. So I hereby christen it David's Creek.. the sign is on order.

The most important lesson I learned in my time as a hunter was that everything needs to drink. This place is the third different spot I have hung cameras in the past month or so and the third creek in the same Gibraltar catchment. On the two previous settings I was astonished to capture 4 feral carnivores a few kilometres apart and separated by thick forest. This place is somewhere in the middle. I'm not sure how many days I will leave the cameras there but four days seems to give a fairly good indication on what is regularly about and I'll post any results here.

I took some video..




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Gibraltar / Billy Billy Creek Remote Camera


I am becoming very interested in the feral animal population of our parks and reserves. I set two camera traps on a section of the Billy Billy Creek near its confluence with Gibraltar Creek in the Australian Capital Territory. On recent settings in the area I have captured, apart from the usual suspect macropods, lyrebirds, wombats, a ring tailed possum, and unfortunately two feral cats and, as of today two wild dogs.

As an aside I have been reading recently about the interaction between dingos and cats in the ecosystem and that having dingos in any given area means a reduction in feral cats. So far its 50/50.. Ill persue this further. I took some video..

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Canberra Times Article - Call of the Wild - Tim the Yowie Man


A few weeks ago I met up with a well known Canberra, and beyond, personality called by his adoring public Tim the Yowie Man. Tim and I met on a cool winters morning at about 600 mtrs elevation in the hills west of Canberra to set a camera trap and an audio recorder on an old forestry trail  on Gibraltar Creek , initially with the hopeful intention of recording a lyrebird or two and recording their song. Tim wrote a column in the Canberra Times recording the experience and I thought it was a very good read but I could be biased.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/tim-the-yowie-man-call-of-the-wild-20170717-gxcjez.html

We left the camera and recorder out for 7 days which resulted in the photographs and video of a few swamp wallabies, a lyrebird, a wild dog and an unknown animal that we suspected of first glance of being a spotted tailed quoll. The 11 second video (below) was shown to the people at the wonderful Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve who could not positively identify it as a quoll but other suggestions pointed at the likelihood of it being a ring tailed possum. A quoll is a lot rarer.

Here is a compilation of results of the setting of the camera trap Tim and I left located on the Gibraltar Creek ACT. Set on the 15th June - collected on the 22nd of June.


For closer inspection here is the clip of the suspect animal..


And finally the wild dog... or is it a dingo?


All up a lot of fun. Thankyou Tim!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Murrumbidgee Bunyip


The story of the Bunyip Redivivus of Lambrigg near Point Hut Crossing Canberra. Reported 98 years ago in the Queanbeyan Age. The report details several sightings in the area including the junction of the Ginnindera Creek and the Murrumbidgee and upper and lower Queanbeyan River. The sighting at Lambrigg Homestead involved a reported capture.. I took some video to explain..


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Billy Billy Creek Remote Camera Results


The results of a camera trap I put out at Billy Billy Creek in the Australian Capital Territory last Friday. I only left the camera up there for a few days as I'm planning another project where I will need the camera. This setting saw the wander of a single wombat at night and unfortunately another feral cat making it two invasive killers spotted in two weeks in two camera settings..

Friday, July 7, 2017

Billy Billy Creek Remote Camera Setup


The area I am setting cameras and audio recorders is the new eastern section of Tidbinbilla. The area follows down the Gibraltar Creek until it starts meandering on the lowlands and rural leases. I have found this area to be particularly rich in native wildlife some areas being dense old growth but others showing remnant regrowth from human interaction in years past.

I'm also interested in the interaction of feral species with the ecosystem having filmed a feral cat and wild dog (dingo?) in the area in weeks gone past. The footage is being used in another project and will be uploaded once that is finalised. This little creek seems very active going by some well established undergrowth animal pathways. I'm not sure how long I will leave it there and I took a little video.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Tharwa Yowie


Tharwa is an interesting little village to Canberra's south with a long history pre-dating Federation. It is also the location of several sightings of the fabled hairy man known generally today as the Yowie. I have had an interest in local hairy man sightings for a long time and have written about the historical yarns in years gone past on this blog.

This report comes from Dean Harrison of the Yowie Hunters research group and involves the tale of a sighting between Tharwa and the Apollo Road Turnoff.. I was on a walk down that way today and took a few minutes video..



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Gibraltar Creek Feral Cat


Final setting of a remote camera on Gibraltar Creek in the Australian Capital Territory. The camera was only out for 5 days and it was fortuitous arriving early to collect it as the batteries, having endured sub zero temperatures, were totally exhausted. There was not much native wildlife collected apart from a duo of wombats going for a stroll.

Disturbing to record however was a lone feral cat prowling past the camera. I had not collected the image of a cat in the area before. Unfortunately for the native wildlife a cat can kill up to a dozen native animals a day. They are a scourge on the ecosystem. I recorded some video..

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A walk to the Theodore Indigenous Grinding Grooves


A walk today to have a look at the Aboriginal Grinding Grooves in Theodore, Tuggeranong, Australian Capital Territory. It has been several years since I had been there and I wondered about their condition co-existing with suburbia as they do. Interestingly on this trip I noted new informative signage installed a short way from the grooves. It is only a short walk from the Canberra Nature Reserve of Tuggeranong Hill entry on Christmas Street. You may have to clear out debris from the grooves but they are still perfect.


 From the signage..

Enlarge to read..

Monday, June 26, 2017

Gibraltar Creek Remote Camera and Audio Recorder Recovery


On the 15th of June I placed an audio recorder and a camera trap from a small clearing where a gully confluences with the Gibraltar Creek. The Sony note taker had enough lithium flavored goodness to run for a full seven days and the camera several months if I left it there. Exactly a week later on the 22nd of June I returned to the location and took a little video along the way. This I suppose is just an example of the process I use to capture wildlife. If I was setting the gear just reverse the process.

p.s if an ad turns up on this video its because a section of it has the radio playing in the background and the youtube content id algorithm detected Autumn In New York (Live (1957/Newport)) - Oscar Peterson 0:39 - 1:18 Those Google kids..


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Checking out a scarred tree on Isabella Drive


I know of probably 20 or so authentic Aboriginal scarred trees dotted around the landscape of suburban Canberra. I have posted a few times on this blog about them. Most I discovered the location by researching trees already documented by others but some from simply 'seeing' them on my wanders.

I had driven up Isabella Drive probably thousands of times over the past 30 years but for some reason this tree caught my eye from the roadway. It is not what I suspected and I took some video..


Friday, June 9, 2017

Jedbinbilla Mountain

From the signage at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. A brief description of the importance of the area to Australia’s First People. A beautiful and rugged area with many sites of Indigenous significance. Well worth a visit..

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Common Brushtail Possum Skull

Found by my son whilst hiking in the Brindabellas was this small skull. What I thought was interesting was the remaining canine evident. At first I thought it may be some type of carnivorous marsupial so I posted the photos on the Victorian Field Naturalists Group on facebook and was reliably informed that the skull belonged to Trichosurus vulpecula, or the Common Brushtail Possum.

Apparently it is common to assume the skull was from a Carnivore because of the canines but alas nothing endangered or vulnerable. An interesting find anyway.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blue Mountains Aboriginal Scar Tree

A recent trip down the Batman Track in the Blue Mountains saw us camp for two nights next to what I highly suspect is an old Aboriginal Scar Tree.


 Strangely I did not notice it when I arrived and it was only after pitching my tent and sitting by a fire did it suddenly catch my view. What the purpose of this particular tree was I don't know. The removed bark can be for sheilds, woomeras, if large enough, canoes and other useful items needed in Indigenous culture.

 The scars can also indicate a place of significance and even burial. This was a thought that came back to me when I soaked in the beauty of the camping spot, a place called Martins Pond where lyrebirds forage in great numbers protected by their pristine and secluded environment.


 It was indeed a special place but a trek I am unlikely to ever repeat. The 2-1/2 hour walk out, though beautiful, was too challenging for me but for those a bit fitter I highly recommend the adventure.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tidbinbilla Bandicoot

A visit to the Sanctuary at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve last week. No sooner had I entered the imposing steel double gate and walked 20 meters before I heard a rustle at my feet and before me was a very photogenic Bandicoot. He or she allowed me to follow for a while leaving the best footage till last.. So much to explore there..

 

Gibraltar Creek Lyrebirds ACT

Earlier in the year I set a camera trap and an audio recorder down an abandoned fire trail on Gibraltar Creek in the Australian Capital Territory. I managed to capture several ten second bursts of video showing a troop of Lyrebirds going about their business. The soundtrack to the video is the birds calls around the same time as the video was captured.. I suspect I have discovered a display ground. A revisit is planned at the height of the mating season mid winter.

 

250 Australian Aboriginal Nations call for a Treaty


Hello. The last time I published on this blog was on the 1st August 2015. I started davesact.com in 2010 and generated 700 posts of mostly a Canberra flavoured historical and natural heritage based flavour but decided after 5 years to take a break from blogging which I needed. The blog had recieved at that time 700k views and had a regular readership but as when something becomes a repetitive, expected task the inspiration and motivation eventually dries up.

 Not so today. Today, after decades of watching fruitless and expensive campaigns to recognise Aboriginal Sovereignty, something happened that should be noted as a historical event that I hope is taken very seriously by the Australian political machine. Today saw the agreement of representatives of over 250 Indigenous Nations gathered at Uluru in Central Australia about what Aboriginal People want in regards to an issue that has been very much dictated to by European Society.

 How they as a People will be recognised by a now multicultural society that in decades past stridently predicted the extinction of the Aboriginal Race  Interestingly, and the options have recently centred around inclusion in the preamble to Australia’s Constitution, the delegates decided that they require a Treaty. No 'minimalist recognition' in the constitution.. A treaty.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/indigenous-summit-rejects-recognition-pushes-for-treaty-and-voice-in-constitution-20170526-gwe389.html

 I am reminded of other Nation's handling of Indigenous Affairs.. The Maori in New Zealand, The North American Indian, and perhaps now the First Peoples of Australia. Now is a time to see how the Government reacts. I'm not sure what that will be.

 As for this blog, for health reasons, I plan on doing a bit of walking around Canberra's wide array of Nature Reserves. Tidbinbilla is also a place I have an annual pass for. So anything is possible really.

The mighty Murrumbidgee River is a trickling creek at Tharwa Bridge

Australia is in the grips of the worst drought in living memory. A walk down to the Murrumbidgee River found the lowest levels of flow that ...