Old Boboyan Rd much breeding, and a small mammal ID 1/2

To: 'Don Fletcher' <>, 'Julian Robinson' <>, 'canberrabirds chatline' <>
Subject: Old Boboyan Rd much breeding, and a small mammal ID 1/2
From: Suzanne EDGAR <>
Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2019 23:01:24 +0000

I note, I think, fr the pics that yr antechinus has similar ears tho the image is blurred there



From: Don Fletcher [
Sent: Sunday, 3 February 2019 4:10 PM
To: 'Julian Robinson' <>; 'canberrabirds chatline' <>
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Old Boboyan Rd much breeding, and a small mammal ID 1/2


Hi Julian,

There are 3 local Antechinus species.  This one would be agilis (Agile A) which was only separated from stuartii (Brown A) relatively recently so your ID was as close as you can usually get from a natural observation.  Of the other two local species, A. swainsonii (Dusky A) is larger, obviously darker, and more robust than the animal in your pictures. Like agilis, it occurs in small patches, widely distributed across Namadgi, but swansonii occupies the wetter areas with deep litter and a thicker shrub layer. The third species, A. flavipes (Yellow-footed Antechinus or YFA) has obvious yellow-buff patches on its flanks and has never been found in Namadgi, only the lowlands, although that is no longer the case in the ACT. YFA could even be extinct in the ACT but the species is common in open woodlands to the north of the ACT.


Don Fletcher


From: Julian Robinson <>
Sent: Sunday, 3 February 2019 3:19 PM
To: canberrabirds chatline <>
Subject: [canberrabirds] Old Boboyan Rd much breeding, and a small mammal ID 1/2


On the way back from a Namadgi excursion yesterday I optimistically investigated Rendezvous Ck area in case Steve’s Black-eared Cuckoo was still there.  I didn’t find it of course,  though there were a Brush Cuckoo and a juv Fan-tailed.



But I was glad of the stopover because the highlight of the day, and my first ever Namadgi small mammal, was encountered scampering across the vehicle track 30m ahead of me.  I stopped the car at the point it reached the side of the track and waited.  After 5 minutes a chocolate brown ~10cm body antechinus-y looking animal popped up out of low but thick cover onto a fallen branch before disappearing again.  I managed to watch it feeding (I think) on and off for another 5 minutes, mostly seen as disturbance to the vegetation as it moved rapidly underneath but sometimes quickly appearing then disappearing.  After several false starts it eventually got the courage to dart out and re-cross the road under the car.


My tentative ID from photos cf Menkhorst and Knight is Brown Antechinus (rather than Dusky or Agile).  The book however specifically says that the Brown has ‘no pale eye rings”, so I wonder about the pale partial ring around the eye in its fur. Can anyone with mammal knowledge confirm or correct this ID from these pics?  Note the photos are paler than it appeared to the eye, it did look a rich chocolate brown.



At Yankee Hat carpark, from the carpark up the hill to the east, there were 50+ Fuscous Honeyeater with many young and DY (maybe in the hundreds, begging peeps were everywhere), 40+ Dusky Woodswallows including immatures (also could be hundreds), 50-70 White-browed Woodswallows with many juv/immatures and some DY, and perhaps 500 starlings about 50% of them young.  Similar story at Glendale though no White-brows.  (On the blitz weekend we saw many White-brows at Glendale but no breeding then).


Also on Old Boboyan Rd were 4 wedgies, 4 kestrels and a Hobby. This used to be a stronghold for Brown Falcons but I haven’t seen one there for years.  And 2 Crested-shrike tits in the bush near the gate. 







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