Night spotting – frogs, snakes and gliders
Friday night in Bruxner Park Flora Reserve, a few Ks west and above Coffs, it’s a hotspot for frogs between 12 and 15 species.
Heaps of small lettuce-green Cascade Tree frogs and we heard endangered Great Barred Frogs.
I asked Brian Hawkins one of the guides (he has just finished his PhD on rainforest birds and is a poet I am helping out by editing some work) about the effect of Cane Toads and where they were on their march south. He says they are just north of Red Rock and heading this way at about a kilometre a year, but they don’t seem to be effecting frog populations, which surprised me because their tadpoles are large and carnivorous. The fauna they do damage (like quolls and snakes) after the initial wave, seem to slip back into that environment.
Stony-creek frog aka Wilcox’s frog is a tree frog that doesn’t climb trees, has beautiful thighs. After frog hunting with Brian we went spotting, heard for the first time a Yellow-bellied glider, loud and amazingly whacky call.
It was so close, but they are agile and camouflaged, and avoid the light. We didn’t see it.
Wikipedia claim, “The yellow-bellied glider is found at altitudes over 700 m above sea level.” but we had them in our two nature reserves at Valla only metres above sea level, until recently (now only the Greater Glider left in Jagun– which makes no call)
We did see a Small-eyed snake (twice). Tiny jaws but National Geographic list in their top ten venomous snakes, “ bites have caused illnesses in snake handlers and there has been one known fatality. The venom contains a long-acting myotoxin that continues to attack muscle tissue (including the heart muscle) for days after the bite.
Amazing huge Flooded Gums, Brush Boxes and this Strangler Fig, a piece of organic Tatlin!