Wildlife surprises

Woke up to find this on the deck :

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I heard the screams during the night and thought it was just the possums playing games.  I can’t believe it was a fox….surely he’d have taken the carcass off to eat elsewhere or store for later. Maybe a not-so-hungry, shouldn’t-be-roaming-at-night dog, just biting off the head for the fun of it and not caring about the rest. Thanks for leaving it on my deck, fella! However, I’m more inclined to think of a large owl and the only one we’ve had here big enough to fit the bill, was a Powerful Owl which appeared some years ago and very rare in this area it was, too. We even got our pictures in the local paper over that one, thanks to a friend who was the president of the local birdo group at the time and took a spectacular photo with a better camera than mine. Anyway, I left the rabbit remains down by a tree trunk at the rear of the property and they’d gone next day. I assume the fox picked it up there. Nice to find dinner just lying on the ground and not have to chase it. One rabbit less, which is a good thing.

The other wildlife surprise is this :

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A Magpie Lark has picked the TV aerial to build her beautifully-formed mud nest. What a place to do it! Up there in all weathers in full view of predators! And surrounded by dozens of trees! What was wrong with them? Mr Mudlark has been keeping guard and taking his turn on the nest. I hope they’re successful in raising young, but I’m not hopeful.

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10 Responses to “Wildlife surprises”

  1. notsomethingelse Says:

    Nature is a brutal yet wonderful thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. narf7 Says:

    Could have been a cat? Hopefully it was the owl. I love that mudlarks tenacity. Using humans to their advantage. Sort of tit-for-tat really. We have a blackbird nesting in our rear roof eaves. It knows that Earl is going to erupt out of the dog door at any given time and that NOTHING in it’s right mind is going to even come close so it is safe and able to raise it’s babies with a degree of security. I wonder if this is the case with the mudlark? Maybe it thinks that not only is your antennae a good place to make a nest but is also close enough to humanity to keep other, more wary, predators at bay? Nature is learning fast!

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      None of the neighbours have cats, although it could have been a feral one, but I’ve not seen any evidence of one about. They do have dogs though and some of them are allowed to roam at night which makes me angry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • narf7 Says:

        It makes me angry as well Bev. Our boys are never allowed out without us and they are predominately on a lead (Bezial is old, slow and fat so he is sometimes allowed off when we are going bush). I can’t wrap my head around people who are irresponsible pet owners. When you take on the responsibility of owning a pet, you take on the “effort” as well. My dad used to let his dog out to roam every morning as he was too lazy to walk him. He would often return with a dead chook that he had killed out there somewhere as he was a hunting dog. You can’t blame the dog for doing what comes naturally to them. It’s the owner who should be at all times held responsible. Dogs and cats allowed to roam are nuisances at the least and can be downright dangerous, especially when they find a few mates. Ask any farmer who has had his sheep mauled by a pack of “pets”. You can report them to the council if their dogs are out of their properties. A few stiff fines might deter them from being so sodding lazy and inconsiderate!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Chris Says:

    I couldn’t see any, but I imagine if it was an owl, there’d be some kind of puncture marks on the body. It seems to have been a neck kill. So fox or dog. I wouldn’t think a fox so inclined to venture near a human dwelling though. They tend to stay away. That would then leave a dog as the next likely candidate. But I wonder if a third culprit is possible.

    Quolls are known for decapitating and draining the body of blood. A dog attack would leave a lot more saliva marks on the fur. As it’s such a neat kill – relatively mark free, the most likely culprit (I think) is a quoll. They’re also very bold nocturnal animals, they could have killed this rabbit, probably casing out the plants on your verandah – or very near it.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      I would love to think we have quolls here but they’ve been long gone from this area. If it was a fox I can’t understand why it would leave a perfectly good meal untouched, so maybe it was a dog after all. None of the immediate neighbours have dogs but there are some down the road and their owners aren’t too careful about keeping them in at night. I don’t have a front gate so access is easy.

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      • Chris Says:

        Native animals like quolls are quite adept at not being noticed, if their numbers are on the rise. But the tell tale sign will be consecutive attacks, all with the same kind of kill. Headless animal with hardly any blood on the scene. That’s what’s so weird about quoll kills. You won’t see much blood because their intent is to drink it as soon as they let it out.

        Maybe ask your immediate neighbours if they’ve found headless animals in their yards too. Once a quoll finds a reliable food source, they’ll stick around until it’s gone.

        I guess it’s possible it could be a dog, but I haven’t known them to take a kill to a stranger’s doorstep. Dog’s can be brazen, entering people’s yards, but I’ve noticed they keep a wide berth of the house.

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        • foodnstuff Says:

          The only quolls that could have been here are the Eastern Quoll and the Spot-tailed Quoll also called Tiger Quoll. The Eastern is now considered extinct on the mainland, although still occurs in Tassie. The Spot-tailed is much larger and is extremely rare. No, it definitely wasn’t a quoll.

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  4. fergie51 Says:

    How bizarre, I too immediately thought cat, leaving you a little Christmas gift. I believe dogs tend to do more damage than just nip the head off, well the one that attacked our chooks did. Thoughtless, irresponsible pet owners, GRRRRR! Hope you don’t have any casualties apart from rabbits, that is ok. Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas, glad you got back into your blog, I always enjoy your posts. Maree.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Maree, thanks for the comment and a happy Christmas and New year to you and yours, too. You’ll be pleased to know that my Christmas present to myself, thanks to you writing about it so much, is going to be a little ‘toy oven’….the latest model, Sunbeam, $99 at the Good Guys. I think it will be more economical than the big oven. Oh, and the elderberry you gave me, which has put up 4 suckers, has flower buds on it for the first time.

      Liked by 1 person

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