I frequently go over to Stradbroke Island in the evening to walk.
Climbing the sandy hill there’s often the sound of rustling and scuttling in the bush on either side of the track. But hoping to see what makes the noise is generally futile as its survival is dependent upon it remaining invisible to any potential predators –
However, on this occasion a movement in the bush caught my eye, followed by a scrambling scratching noise up a nearby tree!
Many years ago I used to do map work for exploration companies across outback Australia and when working in scrub country where trees were few and far between fellow team members would tell me if I startled a goanna, as they are commonly called, I should lie down as their ‘fight or flee’ reaction is to climb the nearest tall object – which in that country would have been me!! I’m not sure how much they were pulling my pommie leg, but seeing the size of their claws, I’d rather have lain down in the dirt than risk the possibility of a goanna running up my body. 😉
Later, when living on a property in northern NSW, we had a resident monitor that must have been not far off their maximum size, which is 2.1m (6’10”). Because of his prehistoric looking lumbering gait as he roamed his domain, we called him ‘Dino’. He’d clamber up the steps onto our verandah to investigate whether there were any tasty morsels that could be scavenged, and sadly for us one day he did strike lucky when he found my son’s pet Cockatiel 🙁
Editor’s Post Script:
After writing this post John Shortland and Charley Jones sent me some photos of their sightings of Lace Monitors…
The photos supplied by John Shortland were taken on the Tallowa Dam Road, Kangaroo Valley NSW
Thanks so much John for adding to this post 🙂
Charley Jones of http://www.secretwater.com.au spotted the lace monitor below at Little Shark Rock Point on the Hawkesbury, Sydney when out with her family in their tinny, just last weekend ~
Thanks Charley for adding your photos!