November 5, 2012

We’re On Track For Some 'Wild' Times This November!


With no significant rainfall since July, the tracks on Fraser Island are fairly dry and challenging for our four-wheel-driving friends… but our animals friends are flourishing in and around the resort on Fraser’s gorgeous western side.  October arrived with a bang, not a whimper in the wildlife stakes -with sightings of Buff-Banded Rails, Turtles, New Zealand Fur Seals, Echidnas and Gliders – in fact it’s fair to say, there have been plenty of wild times in our neck of the woods.

A Buff-Banded Rail put on quite a show for our twitchers
As spring warms up, there is much more light on our Ranger-guided Early Morning Bird Walks and much more bird activity. The pool area has been brimming with bird life, with Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Red-Backed Fairy Wrens and a beautiful bright red male Mistletoe Bird impressing our twitchers.

The Wallum Heath has had its fair share of surprises too – one morning we encountered a rather friendly Buff-Banded Rail (pictured) – who had no qualms going about his daily business in front of us.  It was amazing to be close to a species that is normally timid around people.

We also saw some unusual behaviour in that a Rainbow Bee-Eater had nested in a small tea tree near our purpose-built fire pits in the Wallum.  This particular species normally builds burrows in the sand dunes for its family – so it was quite a surprise to see it so territorial near its new high-rise apartment.

And just when we thought that all of our Sugar Glider mates had gone (we often gliders in autumn and winter, but not so many in spring), we discovered a family in a Eucalyptus tree opposite the Jetty Hut on one of our nightly guided walks.  It’s likely the Gliders are hanging around (not literally) because the trees are blooming later than usual.  Needless to say, they were added to the nightly itinerary - sometimes we could hear them growling at each other; and on nights with clear moons and natural light, guests were blown away by the little cute Glider faces peering down at us from their precarious perches.

During our Junior Eco Ranger walks along Fraser's western beach and Kingfisher Bay's Jetty, we’ve often seen entire schools of fish jumping out of the water – which our Eco Rangers absolutely love.  This behaviour allows the smaller fish to break the signal or electrical impulse that allows predators to track them – and generally happens when there’s a chase going on for life under the waves.

Kiwi visitor, Fred, enjoys some 'time out' on Fraser Island
We have also enjoyed several Echidna sightings, plus, a New Zealand Fur Seal – which Ranger Kirstey has named Fred - has made a resting place for itself at Kingfisher Bay’s barge ramp – and continues to delight departing guests and arrivals from nearby Hervey Bay.

Fraser Island is the northern most limit for these animals and sightings like this one are pretty rare… though its human kiwi counterparts are starting to discover Fraser and all its delights.

To the skies, the Southern Cross has now dipped out of sight and the Scorpion Constellation - after some fantastic viewing - is now on its way down.

What’s around the corner for summer in paradise?  Stay tuned for next month’s Ranger update.