Dryandra Spotlighting: Mammal Heaven!

Club member Ry Beaver is a keen photographer, citizen scientist and fauna spotter.

He has his own blog,  Wildlife Watching in Australia. 

Here is an excerpt from it, dated Jan 25, 2017:

“Ever since I have been researching wildlife watching I have wanted to go to Dryandra Woodland.  2 hours out of Perth and not far from Narrogin it is a premier destination for nature lovers.  It is a patchwork of reserves in Wheatbelt farming country and is going to become a national park soon. Due to DPAW’s Western Shield program wildlife has held on in Dryandra, where it has disappeared from most other places. It is one of only a couple of places where our state fauna emblem, the Numbat, can be seen in a naturally remaining population. The Numbat was common across most of Southern Australia from West to East coasts – but disappeared as foxes made their way West following rabbits. I still haven’t seen a Numbat in the wild but as they are diurnal (out during the daytime), you need to drive the trails keeping your eyes peeled during the times they are active.

Anyway my mate Jimmy had suggested we do a long, late night to Dryandra the day before Australia Day. I was excited to go there for the first time at night! My wife and I went about 3.5 years ago during the day (pre-kids!) and saw some nice birds and an Echidna…”
“…We then headed further up Gura Rd to go to a spot where Jimmy had heard Tammar wallabies had been seen but he had never seen them. Not far from the second Woylie spot Jimmy saw something dash across the road that he wasn’t initially sure what it was – we stopped to have a better look. It was a Chuditch – a bucket list animal for me! Chuditch is one of the indigenous names – also called a Western Quoll or native marsupial cat. It is one of the larger carnivorous marsupials and something I have always been dying to see.

We headed out of the car quickly to try and get a better look and it shot up a tree – bingo we could get a good look now. It was a beautiful gold honey colour with white spots – on the ground it seemed quite elongate and moved very quickly. In the tree it just watched us – not really seeming fearful of us at all.

Jimmy thought it was possibly a juvenile as was smaller than others he had seen before. We watched it for a while before leaving it be. I was buzzing afterwards. I have been to Julimar Forest and Lane Poole Reserve previously hoping to see Chuditch but with no luck.”