We have had a couple encounters with the curiously named Pobblebonk or Eastern Banjo Frog. It is not uncommon to find these frogs buried in the soil in our veggie garden. These frogs breed in the nearby dam (and they certainly do a lot of loud calling when we get rain). Several beautiful specimens were unearthed during the process of harvesting a bed of potatoes, then a few days later we found another swimming in a sheep water trough.
Hot weather has prompted the yellow gums to shed last year’s bark. The trees look very stunning now with smooth pale trunks. Hot weather has implications for wildlife as well. Once the temperature exceeds 35 degrees Celsius the birds begin to take shelter under the decking of our widest verandah. We have seen ten magpies at once sheltering there. It is also a favourite spot for blue wrens. In the late afternoon, after a hot day, sizeable groups of very colourful Eastern Rosellas are enjoying feeding on seed on the dry ground.
Plenty of people are reporting sightings of reptiles and unusually large numbers of goannas have been seen in the area. We have had a few encounters with eastern brown snakes.
Bushfires bring some opportunities. During recent fires, we noticed the smoke was preceded by a large group of wood swallows which appeared to be feeding on insects borne on the wind from the fire.
We have had a small rabbit around our garden. An unwanted pest. Last week we found half a small rabbit, something had eaten it. We have seen three foxes in the daytime over the past fortnight. We may have been pleased to find half a rabbit, but not so pleased to find a large pile of wood duck feathers near the dam.
Biodiversity in nature is demonstrated in many ways. Look at your own place and see what you can come up with.
Article and photo by Annette Robertson, Wedderburn Conservation Management Network “Observers”
Figure 1: Pobblebonk / Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerili)