Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

South-East Oz Part 7 – Wombats of Bendeela

Common Wombat grazing
With its stunning scenery and wildlife attractions, it is surprising that the Bendeela Recreation Area in Kangaroo Valley in the NSW Southern  Highlands is not a major tourist attraction. This free camping and picnic reserve operated by WaterNSW is truly delightful.

Juvenile wombat
Here is Wombat Central. I know of nowhere else where this endearing marsupial can be seen in such numbers and with such ease. The wombats emerge from their burrows up to two hours before sunset to graze on the extensive grass lawns of the reserve.

They are utterly oblivious to the human interlopers, wandering and feeding among the tents and caravans. They will bowl through your camping site without giving you a look. They love getting under vehicles and caravans to scratch their backs. At night you can  hear them squeal as they chase each other around, or your van rocks slightly as they have a scratch.

Wombat under caravan
From one point at the western end of the reserve, I counted 25 wombats an hour after sunset. Judging by the area available, there would be at least 100 in the vicinity of the reserve and many more on surrounding properties.

Wombat with mange
Some are suffering a kind of mange, the spread of which may be facilitated by the large population.

Burrows amid revegetation efforts

Wombat burrow
The periphery of the reserve is potted with dozens of burrows. Attempts at revegetation are challenging because new burrows are constantly being dug among newly planted shrubs and trees.

Up close and personal
The animals are so trusting that some idiot in 2015 slaughtered 13 wombats at Bendeela by driving around at night and running them over.

Bendeela Recreation Area


Among the birds here were Superb Lyrebird and a Square-tailed Kite flying over.

Square-tailed Kite

No comments:

Post a Comment