Across the creek from the McGee country estate, in the Central Victorian Goldfields, is a bushland reserve.
Someone loves the reserve and has put up some nest boxes. I pass two of the boxes on my morning walk. Both are chewed and worn around the opening in the front, indicating that some creature has used them. One of them, though, has since been taken over by feral bees.
Having seen nothing come or go during daylight I deduced that the inhabitants might well be mammalian, perhaps there might even be gliders at the bottom of my garden.
One evening in summer I took a camp chair and staked out the box, through the twilight and into darkness. I provided a considerable feast for the mosquitoes but saw not a glimpse of a glider.
I subsequently bought a Trail Camera from Faunatech. It is mosquito-proof. I mounted it where it could see the box and also the canopy. It sat there for two nights and three days. It took pictures, almost exclusively of the canopy swaying in the breeze, by day this looks conventional enough, at night it uses infrared. I then examined more than 1200 photographs of a tree, a box and some swaying leaves and found four photos with a critter included. Here’s one …
My working diagnosis is Sugar Glider but I am discussing this with a more knowledgable friend, a scientist with Parks Victoria.
Congratulations to the people who provided the box. I will be erecting a few on my side of the creek.