Wednesday, 30 July 2014

July Wildlife Report

Yellow Bittern Hysteria!

Australian Little Bittern, North Lakes

Earlier this month, a report went up on the 'Eremaea' website: a Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) had been sighted at North Lakes. For those not yet initiated into the world of vagrant bird sightings, this is the feathered equivalent of a wild mongoose or monkey suddenly appearing in Brisbane of its own accord. Considered the first ever verified sighting of a live Yellow Bittern on the Australian mainland, this species usually has a home range across Asia, extending as far south as Indonesia. Little did we know, this little bird was set to tear the bird-watching community apart!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Obtaining Wildlife Knowledge

A few months ago, my friend Noah asked me where I get my wildlife knowledge from, thinking that perhaps I am currently undertaking a degree in a relevant subject area. This is not the case. Apart from my good grades in high school biology, I've never obtained any formal qualifications in animal study (though this is something that may change next year), and almost everything I know is self-taught. Sometimes I feel like my friends hold an un-earned level of respect for my skills, viewing my outdoor abilities as proof of me having an intuitive understanding of the natural world, when the truth is much more banal. The simple fact is, I spend a LOT of time utilising a wide range of fantastic resources which have helped build my knowledge of this subject area over a few years. Here, I wish to share with you some of these repositories of knowledge, so that any 'Wild BNE' reader out there can benefit from them also. Of course, many people reading this are much, much more knowledgeable about wildlife than I am, so feel free to add your tips for gaining information in the comments below!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Broken River

Landscape of the Month

What's so special about it?

Platypus, Broken River
Located along the Queensland coast near Mackay, the Broken River is the best place in the world to see wild Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). In the rest of their range, Platypus are notoriously shy and crepuscular creatures, but the population in Broken River can be easily observed from the river bank at almost any time of day. The Broken River is also famous for the ancient fossils found inside its rockbeds, including the preserved remains of primitive fish from 400 million years ago.