Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Mallacoota October 2016 (part 3 - the Koala post)

The excitement today occurred towards the end of our walking about.  We were doing an orchid hunt (many Glossodia and Petalochilus, nothing else) on the Casuarina track and had turned to walk back when Frances called me to join her.  She said "There's an animal there."pointing to an area right beside the track.  Moving aside a fern frond a Koala joey was revealed in Face Plant mode.
 It was still alive and appeared to be not obviously injured.  We decided the best thing to do was leave it there (replacing the fern frond) and get in touch with help.  But "who yer gunna call?"  I decided that my best shot was to go to the Council Service Centre.  The person there claimed not to know who to contact, but I spotted a Wildlife Rescue calendar with a local phone number on it.  A quick phone and an agreement to meet the rescuers at the town end of the track.

They came equipped with blankets and we set off for a convivial walk.  After a few minutes strolling one of the rescuers asked if we were still in Victoria: I think they spend their lives ministering to wildlife not walking!

When we got to the spot the joey hadn't moved.  Given that this was an hour after we'd found it that was taken as a sign that Mum wasn't nearby and it needed help.  A quick check for a pouch suggested it was a male.  Size (compare the carers arm bottom left for scale) suggested it was not long out of then pouch and thus probably a backrider.

 Here is a close up of the claws - you need stuff like this to climb trees ...
 .. and the teeth - eucalyptus leaves are tough to chew.
 The carer said that it we ever  need to pick up a koala do so by holding the wrists from behind.  This avoids:

  1. damaging the animal's fragile ribs; and
  2. the surgery needed on the human if the animal gets a chance to use its teeth and claws.

The likely explanations were that it fell off Mum up in a tree or more likely that a male knocked it off Mum's back while having his evil way with her.  The carers thought its chances were pretty good.

On to other topics.  A Little Wattlebird checking out a Grevillea in the garden.
 We explored another new (for us) stretch of the Mallacoota Coastal Walk.  This was a clifftop path
The stratification in the rocks was impressive.

Much of the walk was in Melaleuca forest, which as usual was almost devoid of understorey.
Towards the end (ie Fishermans Point) this broke out into very pleasant heath, dominated by flowering Leptosperum.
This magnificent old eucalypt was back near the Betka River, and is mainly included because it is an impressive tree.
A member of the Fabaceae.
A leafless Bossiaea ensata.
Tetratheca sp.
Correa reflexa
A tall white lily, the name of which is known to some, but not to me.
A colourful fly, tidying up a Bunochilus flower
The labellum of the tall Bunochilus ...
.. and the short one, B. melagrammus
A Dipodium of some description

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