Spring sandpad monitoring a delight for 'the Brians'

Published 28 Oct 2016 
by Brian Martin 
about  Charles Darwin Reserve  
Fox tracks. According to Brian, "The main way of identifying fox tracks is the large central pad. The fourth paw mark clearly shows this pad protrusion".<br/> Fox tracks. According to Brian, "The main way of identifying fox tracks is the large central pad. The fourth paw mark clearly shows this pad protrusion".
"These are the tracks of hopping mice. I think they must have been playing on the sand pad. We were happy to see so many."<br/> "These are the tracks of hopping mice. I think they must have been playing on the sand pad. We were happy to see so many."
"If we can't identify an animal's footprint we take a photograph of it with a size indicator and send it to Vanessa [Regional Ecologist Vanessa Westcott].<br/> "If we can't identify an animal's footprint we take a photograph of it with a size indicator and send it to Vanessa [Regional Ecologist Vanessa Westcott].
A carpet of yellow flowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.<br/> A carpet of yellow flowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.
Wildflowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.<br/> Wildflowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.
The road used to monitor wildlife was framed by wildflowers.<br/> The road used to monitor wildlife was framed by wildflowers.
A Grevillea in flower.<br/> A Grevillea in flower.
Bright pink wildflowers.<br/> Bright pink wildflowers.
"The Dunnart tracks are on the left side of the tape measure being used to photograph unknown tracks. The dot at the rear of the footprints is the identifying feature of a Dunnart paw print."<br/> "The Dunnart tracks are on the left side of the tape measure being used to photograph unknown tracks. The dot at the rear of the footprints is the identifying feature of a Dunnart paw print."

Bush Heritage volunteers Brian Crute and Brian Martin recently conducted the spring sandpad monitoring at Charles Darwin Reserve. After a great season of rain in the midwest it was an exciting week with lots of small mammal activity (which is exactly what we want!). There was not as much reptile activity as generally found in the spring survey due to the cold start to this year's spring.

Brian Martin commented,

Brian and I were very happy with our results as we counted four Dunnarts, many hopping mice, two Thorny Devils, many reptiles, lots of Emus with chicks and only one cat, four foxes, a few wild dogs but lots of rabbits. The season was so good the rabbits bred like rabbits! Brian set three bait stations for the rabbits, which we'll check in December.

The wildflowers were magnificent. They were late flowering varieties and they formed a background to the moulting earlier flowering species. Instead of a carpet of everlastings we had a carpet of yellow flowers and a carpet of blue flowers.

I have never had the experience of seeing wild flowers over a two-three month period and they were stunning."

Fox tracks. According to Brian, "The main way of identifying fox tracks is the large central pad. The fourth paw mark clearly shows this pad protrusion".<br/> Fox tracks. According to Brian, "The main way of identifying fox tracks is the large central pad. The fourth paw mark clearly shows this pad protrusion".
"These are the tracks of hopping mice. I think they must have been playing on the sand pad. We were happy to see so many."<br/> "These are the tracks of hopping mice. I think they must have been playing on the sand pad. We were happy to see so many."
"If we can't identify an animal's footprint we take a photograph of it with a size indicator and send it to Vanessa [Regional Ecologist Vanessa Westcott].<br/> "If we can't identify an animal's footprint we take a photograph of it with a size indicator and send it to Vanessa [Regional Ecologist Vanessa Westcott].
A carpet of yellow flowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.<br/> A carpet of yellow flowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.
Wildflowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.<br/> Wildflowers at Charles Darwin Reserve.
The road used to monitor wildlife was framed by wildflowers.<br/> The road used to monitor wildlife was framed by wildflowers.
A Grevillea in flower.<br/> A Grevillea in flower.
Bright pink wildflowers.<br/> Bright pink wildflowers.
"The Dunnart tracks are on the left side of the tape measure being used to photograph unknown tracks. The dot at the rear of the footprints is the identifying feature of a Dunnart paw print."<br/> "The Dunnart tracks are on the left side of the tape measure being used to photograph unknown tracks. The dot at the rear of the footprints is the identifying feature of a Dunnart paw print."