A spotlighting walk in Royal National Park turned up quite a number of Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and a tiny and extremely fast Feathertail Glider (Acrobates pygmaeus) – the smallest gliding mammal on earth, that is literally smaller than a mouse and seems to be constantly on the move.
Unlike the ‘disappearing in a flash’ Feathertail, Sugar Gliders are much easier to actually watch. They are surprisingly unfazed by people and their torches.
We watched them tap the sap from the trunks of eucalypt trees with a quiet ferocity that made them oblivious to the rest of the world.
However, if you were to tap the trunk of the tree on which the animal is sitting it would sense the vibration and disappear in the blink of an eye.
If you are lucky, you’ll see it glide to a neighboring tree as it flees.
Apart from the gliders, we saw a few Brushtail (Trichosurus vulpecular) and Ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), some feral Rusa deer and unfortunately a fox.
In terms of non-mammalian species, the vegetation along the banks of the creek supports an impressive number of Dwarf tree frogs and we heard a Boobook and an Owlet-nightjar throughout the walk.