Eyre Peninsula – Western Pygmy Possums & Barking geckos
By Margarita | Published
The only other small mammal we found in Dakalanta was the feisty dasyurid – Little long-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis dolichura).
Another favourite of Dakalanta surveys is the Barking gecko (Underwoodisaurus milii).
We also caught a number of Western stone geckos (Diplodactylus granariensis), Lined earless dragons (Tympanocryptis lineata), a handsome Yellow-faced whip snake (Demansia psammophis) and a couple of Bicycle lizards (Ctenophorus cristatus).
Like Scotia Dakalanta gets spectacular sunsets and sunrises. There is nothing like a flaming red sky to get your juices flowing early in the morning. Most of Dakalanta has been cleared of native vegetation, but in the south of the property there is still a sizable patch of river red gum woodland. These gum trees provide perfect roosting hollows for owls and many other critters. We took the opportunity to check some of the roosting sites for pellets, and accidentally flushed out a Barn owl (Tyto alba). It hopped out of the hollow and literally hung around for a bit by holding on to the tree with one foot.
One afternoon we came across a large brown snake hunting at our camping site. It found something of interest in a small underground burrow and kept trying to get it out by inserting its head into the burrow and writhing its powerful body trying to get a grip on whatever it was hunting. After about half an hour it got frustrated and slithered away. And off course we followed it. Eventually it got so bored with us – it actually yawned!
By the end of the survey we had a little ecosystem establishing in one of our cars.