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Film Diary / 17.03.2009

When I started night filming I may have shot five minutes or less of footage during a two hour walk. Now, the amount of footage has doubled. Tonight in the Knoll National Park, I was able to film a couple of Brushtail Possums. Our previous encounters with possums in the rainforest had been too brief for filming. The second possum was particularly endearing as it waited in a branch high overhead until I had finished filming two spiders on the tree’s trunk.

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Film Diary / 25.02.2009

Another night filming session in Joalah, which yielded plenty of delights, not least because we had the alert presence of a young woman, who spotted a number of good subjects, the most unexpected of which was a Titan Stick Insect. It was a medium-sized specimen. The insects can grow to a length of 250mm. However, the truly exceptional sight was a roosting Azure Kingfisher on a branch above the self-same pool where I filmed the eel. The bird was a new species for the archive.

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Film Diary / 11.02.2009

There was a time, lasting many years, when, much to my disappointment, I failed to see any pademelons – a small marsupial related to the wallaby – on my visits to Palm Grove National Park, where they had been common. However, for the past few years they have been present in numbers, not only near the entrance, but deep within the park. They are skittish creatures. If you don’t manage to see them you can hear them pounding the ground as they bound out of danger. Today, I managed to film a pademelon who had not retreated out of sight, but had paused to watch me from a safe distance. I was able to set up my camera to give me a clear view. After several minutes of the pademelon looking at me filming, it was gone. Filming it was a pure bonus as I was in the park to add to my footage of tangled and knotted vines.

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Film Diary / 20.01.2009

Night filming in Joalah National Park with Jaap once again showing the way. The highlight was filming a Long-Finned Eel in the pool below a cascading Curtis Falls, following good seasonal rain. The pool was tranquil and the eel meandered in the water in good view. I had seen a couple of eels in this pool and further down stream and tried to film them in daylight without success.  It beats me how eels manage to ascend from the ocean to 500 metres above sea level.

 

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Film Diary / 06.01.2009

Night filming in MacDonald National Park with a Dutch friend, Jaap, who has a good spotlight and knows where to find fauna. Have not viewed the footage. Filmed a garden orb spider in her web, plus several spiders at the entrance to their burrows. Not sure which species – wolf spider, mouse spider, northern funnel web (just as deadly as the Sydney species)? Filmed one of several great barred frogs we saw in the park. One portion of fallen tree trunk next to the path contained two large millipedes, a slug/snail, a leaf-tailed gecko and a rare black-soled frog. Also filmed a glow-worm and its curtain of sticky strands for trapping prey.

 

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Film Diary / 29.12.2008

When I woke up on 29 December, I drew back my bedroom curtain, opened the sliding door onto the balcony and went back to bed to listen to the 7.45 news, as is my wont. As I lay there I saw what looked like a huge tangle of spider web caught in the morning sunlight beneath the seat of a garden chair. Then I saw it was green and wondered how vegetation had somehow been blown behind the chair. When I got up and took a closer look, the sphere of bits of branch from the tree outside my balcony, looked vaguely familiar. I had filmed a similar but larger structure before, in a tree, but devoid of any greenery. Still uncertain, I prodded the sphere and met with resistance. This was indeed a ring-tailed possum’s dray. Unfortunately, some of the vegetation fell off. This enabled me later to film a bit of tail, which poked through the resultant hole. The next day the dray was somewhat dishevelled, due to the possum’s going and coming, and I was able to film other bits of possum. A neighbour to whom I showed the dray pointed out that there were… Read Complete Text

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Film Diary / 08.12.2008

In the park opposite my dwelling, I filmed two parent and two young tawny frogmouths (an owl-like bird), huddled close together on a low branch in a pile of fallen vegetation caused by a freak storm three weeks ago. The frogmouths are nocturnal, but were sleeping in a completely exposed position. Both Currawong and Magpie, quite large diurnal birds, let them be. The camera angle could not have been better and I was eventually able to get quite close. In the afternoon they had partly changed their position. The siblings remained where they had been in the morning but the parents were on a low branch in another part of the pile, near a power pole. They were all a bit more active by now and I was able to get some close ups of preening and of their wide-open eyes.

 

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Film Diary / 02.12.2008

Jaap had told me about some lace monitors or goannas he had seen on a number of occasions around Panorama Point overlooking Tamborine Gorge. In the afternoon I drove to the end of the sealed road below the Point, got out of the car and took in the scene. I didn’t see any goannas, but was intrigued by some black birds in the trees near the track. I set up my camera to film them before I realised they were a pair of glossy black cockatoos, a species I had not filmed before. The under side of the male’s tail is a vivid red. The female has yellow marking on her head, reminiscent of that of the yellow-tailed black cockatoo, but a more golden tone and a red and yellow barred tail. The location was not ideal for afternoon filming. Fortunately the birds hung around for a long time feeding on pine cones and I was able to get some good footage. I returned to the spot a number of times without seeing the birds or goannas, but I caught sight of a small plant with blue berries nearby which I filmed. Its identity baffled a naturalist to… Read Complete Text

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Film Diary / 08.11.2008

From time to time Jenny Peat, secretary of the Progress Association, phones to tell me about something film-worthy in her garden. This time I had the opportunity to film the quite rare Fletcher’s frog, which she is encouraging to breed. Although I was running out of tape I managed to get some good footage of a female.

 

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Film Diary / 20.09.2008

After a break of three months I resumed filming and the first subject which caught my eye was a white flower. On my daily walk I noticed more and more white flowers and so for more than a month I mainly filmed plants with white flowers. Some flowers had entirely white petals, some started off with white petals which later turned blue or pink and some had bits of colour at the base of their petals. As I viewed the tapes towards the end of my white flower spree, I tallied the different plants and came up with more than 50, though I went on to film a few more afterwards. The filming occurred from late September to early November