I recently saw that someone had posted a possum sighting on one of my favourite websites iNaturalist. It was in Gosnells which is only a 20 minute drive from my house but pretty much in central suburban Perth. This pricked my interest so I invited a friend to come and explore. We travelled to John Okey Davis Park which backs onto a bush corridor on the upper reaches of the Canning River.
I am always optimistic prior to exploration but just as we got there, I thought – how likely are we to see anything? Well 3 minutes later we had seen our first brushtail possum!
We also heard something large dash away on the ground – possibly a cat or maybe a fox? We walked a little further and saw our second, then a third! There were possums everywhere..
The best technique for spotlighting is to either have a good headtorch or a place the torch on the side of your head near your eyes, as then you can pick up eyeshine of the nocturnal animals. You need to scan the trees and the undergrowth looking for a little double glow! With possums and many mammals it is orange/red colour. After a while you get your eye in – my friend didn’t spot the first few but then was finding his own.
We also were able to get very close to a few to get some really nice photos. They must be pretty used to people as their is housing all around outside the bush strip.
I also managed to find a Moaning frog – just for the dual white eye reflection on the ground. Cute little guy (Not sure if its a guy or gal though).
And then not far from the Moaning frog – this Slender tree frog hiding in some vegetation. The only frog heard calling was Squelching Froglets but we never found any – but they are pretty small. I have heard these Moaning frogs can drive people mad. If you live near a wetland and they burrow into your grass near your bedroom window – they can call all night long – listen to one here.
What an amazing evening – I think probably 20 possums or so all up and 3 moaning frogs and a slender tree frog.
The following image is a rough map of where the possums where and the crosses where the frogs where found.