Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ring-tailed Possum in Robertson Nature Reserve

Unfortunately I have no photos to accompany this story.

I live just 400 metres from the Robertson Nature Reserve. I know I have Brush-tailed Possums in my yard (and occasionally on my roof), but I have never seen in my yard any signs of the nests (drays) which Ring-tailed Possums build. I do recall seeing one dead (electrocuted) on a power line across the road from my house, shortly after I moved here, about 10 years ago. The drays which Ring-tailed Possums build are a common sight in the Melaleuca thickets along the Belmore Falls Road, but that is very different habitat, although only 5 kilometres away.

Tonight as I drove past the Nature Reserve, to go to a REPS meeting I saw (and had to stop to avoid) a fat Ring-tailed Possum on the road. It was quite likely a pregnant female. She was walking slowly, with body held close to the ground. She stopped, turned around and crawled back into the low growth on the Nature Reserve side of the road (whence she had come).

Later on in the evening, as I returned home I saw a healthy Fox run very quickly across the road, from private property. It leapt over the low foliage around the road verge and disappeared into the Nature Reserve. This was less than 100 metres from where I had earlier seen the little Ring-tailed Possum.

Given the relative agility of these two animals, and with the Fox's strong ability to scent out prey, I just hope that the Possum was well and truly up in the trees.

I am recording this as a "sighting record". I saw the animal from my car, but at very short range (less than 5 metres). The Possum was clearly illuminated by my car lights.

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