Spotlighting at Royal National Park and Castlereagh NR (Sydney Region) 2

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Subject: Spotlighting at Royal National Park and Castlereagh NR (Sydney Region) 2nd and 3rd June 2001
From: "Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2001 20:43:18 -0700
After reading Marc Andersons interesting report on his spotlighting at Royal NP (about 20 plus km south of Sydney) a few weeks ago, I thought I should do the same, for few hours last night. Got their just on dusk with Bassian Thrushes beautifully calling during the last few minutes of light at Wattle Flat near Audley. As the night came about (5:15 pm), the first nocturnal mammals appeared, first a Common Brush-tailed Possum, then a Common Ring-tailed Possum and about the edge of the rainforest, A Mountain Brush-tailed Possum (Bo-buck) appeared. It was great to hear both the distinctive calls of the two species of Brush-tailed Possums. Common Eastern Froglets (Crinea Signifera) were heard calling here at Wattle Flat.
At the southern end of Lady Carrington drive at about 6:30 pm, it took only a matter of minutes to hear both Sooty and Southern Boobook Owls call but both were unseen. I had not intention to entice the former closer in any way, as I think Sooties breed about this time of year. Another Common Rintailed Possum and a few Sugar Gliders were nearby.
At about 8:15 pm, I did a brief night walk on the track to Uloola falls from the Waterfall Sataion car park where I was delighted to see one of the most cutest of all marsupials (and my 5th possum for the night), an Eastern Pygmy Possum. I scanned the many blooming Banksia Ericafolias in the hope of finding one of these possums and noticed some movement in one of them and to my surprise struck lucky. This very hard to find (?) tiny marsupial is only about the size of a mouse and is very obliging. In fact I was able to pick it up from the Banksia for even a closer look. Also nearby was another Sugar Glider.
This evening, dashed to Castlereagh Nature Reserve (about 50 km west of Sydney CBD) for another brief spot light for an hour. Got their before dusk and saw 2 separate parties of Painted Button-quail (atleast 5 in total) along the track running along the southern end of the nature reserve. I am not sure if its only me experiencing this, but I have been seeing more and more Painted Button-quails just about every time I bird in woodland around Sydney. Maybe, it is more seeding of the native grassess from good rains in recent years. A few years ago, I would be lucky to have one sighting a year, but I think last 3 years, I had atleast 20 separate sightings. Also here, saw a nice male Rose Robin. Upon dusk, a Black Bittern flew out with its distinct "Who-o-o-o-o-o-o" call. Also, trying to come out of its little hollow, was a possible Gould's Long-eared Bat. It stuck it head out of the hollow a couple of times, made a few clicking calls, but I think decided to stay indoors for the night. Other mammals seen were 3 Common Ring-tailed Possums seen together and an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Several Common Eastern Froglets (Crinea Signifera) and Whistling Tree frogs (Litoria verreauxii) were also heard calling.
A great couple of nights.
Edwin Vella
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