There’s a lot to be said for getting out into the great outdoors – not the least of which is critter spotting.
There’s more out there in central Victoria than you might imagine.
And I’m not talking just about the slithery type (although, being snake season it’s timely for a reminder to take care out there).
There’s birds and beasties aplenty.
I had a veritable feast of wildlife spotting on a recent drive between Bendigo and Nagambie.
First there were elegant, swan-necked cranes and smaller birds looking for lunch on Lake Nagambie (although not as many as on the Gunbower Creek at Cohuna, where dive-bombing swallows are a bit of a hazard in a canoe).
Then, on the drive back, there was a trio of adventurers spotted.
We were near Costerfield when I spotted what, from a distance, looked like a grey log on the road. Then I noticed it had legs. A tail. And was about three-quarters of the road’s width in length. It was a goanna – an enormous monitor lizard just lounging in the middle of the road. “Lizard”, I told our driver. Break, went he. Off ran the lizard into the bush.
A little bit further on we spotted a cute little echidna just ambling across the road. It wasn’t sure whether to go forward or back when the great metal beast drew up. In the end, our spiky friend turned around and went back the way it came. We waited, patiently, to make sure it didn’t get squashed by somebody else.
And last, but by no means least, a mid-sized turtle on the verge of the road scuttled out of the way as we drove past. The only thing missing was a kangaroo (which probably was, wisely, resting under a tree somewhere).
It was a dry, hot day. The kind of day where human and wildlife alike seeks shade and water. There wasn’t much of either about. I suspect my wildlife friends were off in search of a haven, braving the dangers of crossing the road on their journey.
As the weather gets hotter, we’ll see our feathered and furry friends seeking sanctuary. A bowl of water for a sip and a wash, a nesting box, a shady tree could be a saviour.
Bendigo resident Joani recently let us know about an owl that had taken up residence in nesting boxes placed close to where she sits on her verandah. “A few days ago I had a lovely surprise – there was one opwl in the large box and two little faces looking out of the little box . I immediately thought they were twins – but have since wondered if I have Ollie the Owl and Olive the mother and a baby.” What a hoot.
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