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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Things that go Bump in the Night

With the postponement of this Friends’ activity due to proposed fuel reduction burns in the Moggs Creek area, we were pleased that the evening of April 27 was pleasant for our evening activity. Keith had arrived at the picnic ground early and had the fire lit and the hot plate ready when people started arriving at 5pm.

Craig, Ellen and Pete making good use of the BBQ
Craig, Ellen and Pete making good use of the BBQ

Twenty-one people had come to share the activity with us and most had brought along food to cook and salads to share. It was great to have some young people with us – Hugh and Ollie (regulars) and Jhon and Camille (refugee family from Venezuela).

Part of the group enjoying the meal and listening to Craig as he played calls rom the Yellow-bellied Gliders that he had recorded  during the week
Part of the group enjoying the meal and listening to Craig as he played calls rom the Yellow-bellied Gliders that he had recorded  during the week

After listening to Craig telling us about the habits of the gliders and the history of them in the Moggs Creek area, daylight was fading and it was time to set off on or night adventure.

Margaret uses spotlight to check what was happening in the vegetation overhead
Margaret uses spotlight to check what was happening in the vegetation overhead

Our quest was of course to find the Yellow-bellied Gliders and it was not long before we heard their calls faintly in the distance.

A young Yellow-bellied Glider seen during the week feeding on sap from cuts made by the gliders in a smooth bark Eucalypt
A young Yellow-bellied Glider seen during the week feeding on sap from cuts made by the gliders in a smooth bark Eucalypt

We could hear a glider call nearby and hear a little bit of rustling in the foliage when Craig was able to locate the animal in one of the trees

Yes it was there and at the top most branch of a tall tree. Its eyes shone in the spotlight and Pete managed to get a photo to share with us.
Yes it was there and at the top most branch of a tall tree. Its eyes shone in the spotlight and Pete managed to get a photo to share with us.

 Unfortunately that was to be the only glider that we found as we walked the forest track, but there were still other interesting things for keen eyes to focus on and Pete took some photos to share with us.

We couldn’t find a common name but Pete suggested ‘Blue-eyed Golden Tree Ant- Notoncus spinisquamis’.
We couldn’t find a common name but Pete suggested ‘Blue-eyed Golden Tree Ant – Notoncus spinisquamis’.
 A Long-jointed Beetle -Adelium sp. Just look at its long legs!
A Long-jointed Beetle – Adelium sp. Just look at its long legs!
A large Harvestman(ancient arachnid)- Nuncellia sp.
A large Harvestman (ancient arachnid) – Nuncellia sp.

 We walked quietly back to the picnic ground. We heard a Powerful Owl calling in the distance. It was just a delight to be in the forest at night-time and enjoy this unique experience.

At the picnic ground we disturbed a Brushtail Possum that had also been enjoying itself – feeding on food that had been left on the table.

It looked at us and then quickly took off. Young Jhon was excited to see it climb a eucalypt close by
It looked at us and then quickly took off. Young Jhon was excited to see it climb a eucalypt close by

There were other living creatures also claiming the picnic ground as their home. These included:-

A Mountain Huntsman – Isopeda montana, hiding beneath the bark of an Ironbark Tree
A Mountain Huntsman – Isopeda montana, hiding beneath the bark of an Ironbark Tree
Photo 11 A Bat-wing Moth – Chelepteryx collesi – nicely camouflaged against an Ironbark
A Bat-wing Moth – Chelepteryx collesi – nicely camouflaged against an Ironbark

 John had erected a screen and lighting to attract moths and other insects. Unfortunately we did not capture the results on film but it was successful.

The screen waiting for its night-time visitors
The screen waiting for its night-time visitors
Pete had fun with his camera
Pete had fun with his camera
 An unusual moth that our experts John and Pete had not seen before  Nisista sp.
An unusual moth that our experts John and Pete had not seen before  Nisista sp.

 Our thanks to Craig, Keith, John and Pete who made the night-time visit to the Moggs Creek Picnic ground such an enjoyable occasion. We might think the forest is asleep, but there is a lot going on that we are just not aware of. It was a privilege to share in this activity.

Margaret MacDonald