On the way to find Ethan and Erin in the Midlands farming district of Tassie we spotted a couple of Wedgies perched in a dead tree. They soared off the perch in a wonderful display. What a great start to the day.
Where? Where? Wedgie! Day 9 : 09-05-2018
Ethan and Erin
Just after the video was taken a second pair Wedgies joined them high in the thermals. We couldn’t tell if they were all adults or a mixture of adults and juveniles. Apparently the adults are more tolerant of young eagles coming into their territory.
Driving into the Midlands the paddocks become more common and the patches of bush less so, but it’s still good eagle habitat. James and the team tagged two eagles in this area over summer. Erin and Ethan are in nearby territories and we surveyed in Erin’s patch first. We did six 10 minutes surveys and spotted Wedgies in 5/6 of them. In a couple of surveys we saw 2 adult birds and 1 juvenile (Erin). We could even make out the backpack with the binoculars.
As well as Wedgies we saw White bellied sea eagles and Brown falcons. The cool but sunny day felt good for raptors. Moving further up the road we began to search for Ethan. His enormous nest is just visible from the road as a huge and lopsided looking pile of sticks. It looked like it had crash landed in the tree rather than carefully constructed by Ethan’s parents.
Even with the cows help we didn’t spot an eagle on Ethan’s patch until the final survey. As a change from the feathered wildlife we moved an echidna from the dirt road in case it was skittles by a car. James noted that quite a few echnidnas end up in eagle nests during breeding season. The quills are not enough to save them from the eagles grasp.
To find a quiet campsite we headed up to the Central Plateau past Poatina. There is a huge water pipeline that runs down from the Central Plateau for hydro electricity. Poatina is a town that was originally built for workers who built the power station and pipeline from 1958. Poatina is the Palawa word for cave. We snuck off the road near the edge of the Plateau and found a quiet patch of Bush to set up our tents. We were joined by black currawongs, green rosellas, wattlebirds and kookaburras for dinner.
It is 6.25pm as I write this and I can not hear a sound outside the tent. It’s very peaceful.
Today t-short winner is Ally.J for the many thoughtful contributions to the discussion.
- Deacribe a day in the life of an echidna?
- Cool and sunny with light winds.
- How many toes do Wedgies have and is that the same for all birds?