Eastern long-necked turtle

An eastern long-necked turtle heads for higher ground after torrential rains in the Dawn Road Reserve

An eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodnina longicollis) heads for higher ground after torrential rains in the Dawn Road Reserve.

Usually, the shy eastern long-necked turtle (Chelodnina longicollis, or sometimes known as the snake-necked turtle for obvious reasons) keeps fairly close to the creek, but when we’ve had a decent downpour and the normally quiet Albany Creek starts roaring, these delightful creatures head for higher ground.
In this case, this turtle ended up wandering around a local backyard in 2009 after torrential rain, much to the delight of the residents and their young neighbours. The residents wondered whether nature was telling them it was time to acquire an ark because it was the first time in the 10 years since they had moved into Albany Parkside that they had seen a turtle at all, let alone in their yard.
This fellow’s carapace (its hard shell) was about the size of a small dinner plate and his neck was almost as long as his shell was wide. (We’re only assuming it’s a he, because we’re not experts at determining the gender of such shy creatures.)
Over the recent past, residents have also reported visits by juvenile and adult eastern water dragons (Physignathus lesueurii), lace monitors (Varanus varius), which also leave their markings on their favourite trees, koalas (Phascularctos cinereus), eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseusand black-striped wallabies (Macropus dorsalis), which graze around the edge of the bushland Reserve and residents’ grassy lawns late in the evening, their scats (calling cards) in evidence the next morning.
Have you had any special wildlife sightings at your place in the past few months? If so, share them. If not, why not enjoy a stroll through the Reserve … there are plenty of walking trails (about 6km in total) and lots of interesting flora and fauna to see if you look around carefully.
Image: Trina McLellan

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