HERE AT THE WINERY we’ve recently been visited by a passing echidna that found its way right up to the cellar door. It tucked itself into the base of a boobiella when I started following it with the camera – their defence of tucking into a ball under a stump, or even partly burying themselves in the open, is pretty effective against marauding dogs.
Echidna numbers seem to be on the rise across the island; they’re commonly seen hanging about on the road verges. If you’re heading to the island, watch out for them. Echidnas don’t move very quickly and have nil awareness of approaching cars.
It is really upsetting to see them killed by cars; they’re easily avoided.
The Cape Barren Geece of course are strutting around the place everywhere, now with young chicks mostly fully grown. They’re amusing birds: they seem to establish ownership on roundabouts and intersections and spend their days ambling gravely and with serious intent back and forth – from one side of the road to the other.
Call in one day and acquaint yourself with our swamp hens, a buff-banded rail family (if you’ve got quick eyes), brown hawks and, if you’re lucky, the occasional passing echidna – like our friend above.
We’ve also got lots of young wallabies in the vineyard. We’re prepared to share but we wish that they would develop a taste for something other than the vine shoots. They pick their ways along the rows, reaching up and pulling down the new growth to nibble at the leaves.