We received so many incredible local wildlife reports and images on ML last summer that we wanted to showcase them in a pictorial – look out for some of these amazing creatures this season.
Mosman Living’s Jane Wilder was lucky enough to come across these gorgeous Tawny Frogmouths in December 2018 – and it turns out they’re frequent visitors. “This family of tawny frogmouths return to my in-laws’ house on Middle Head every year – same tree, same branch. There are 4 of them – 2 are hiding. Aren’t they lovely?” We think so, and from the response on ML they’re a community favourite too. Just don’t call them owls!
Susan Park also came across a little family huddled together while on her morning walk in Mosman. Many members commented on how well camouflaged they were.
Dophins at Balmoral – could anything be more beautiful! This stunning image above is from a video captured by ML’s Katrina Lim from May 2018. There is also a pod regularly sited between July and August each year. “I spotted around 7 dolphins at Balmoral Beach today around 3:15pm. They were really close to the shore and passed by the island towards The Spit. Amazing.” reported Nadya Jordanova.
Described as ‘aliens’ by some, these incredible looking creatures were washing up on Sydney’s beaches last year and causing a stir. An ML member posted a warning they may be in the area and local Emma McCoy quickly commented: “Oh my gosh I was just about to post about this exact creature!!! I found HEAPS of them at Balmoral just this afternoon (see pic below) and I know ALL about how bad their sting is because our 5 year old reacted really badly to one and had to go to hospital when he was stung 2 weeks ago.”
‘Skippy’, as he was named, made worldwide headlines when he decided to take a trip over the Harbour Bridge. It’s assumed the trailblazing swamp wallaby came from nearby Cammeray, with newspapers reporting at the time that while it is rare to spot wallabies on the North Shore they do reside here. This little guy’s early morning adventure ended in a police pursuit and he was taken to Taronga Zoo to recover before being released back into the wild in Ku-ring-gai National Park.
We all know we share the water with all sorts of amazing marine life and, last summer, Mosman Living member Tate Leckie submitted the following report to the community: “While snorkeling around the island at Balmoral today I saw a 2.5 to 3 meter bull shark on the Bathers Pavilion side about 20 meters from the shore. Be careful while swimming around there.” (NOTE: This image is just for reference and was not taken at Balmoral)
This isn’t usually a big deal – snakes are common around the bushier areas of Mosman, and are even spotted regularly on our roads, however we were all a little surprised last summer to learn a huge Diamond Python had been discovered sunning itself on the sand at Balmoral!
Funnel Web Spiders
It seems many on ML enjoy a round of ‘what spider is this? replete with hilarious GIFS, but two posts have created shockwaves in the ML Group when the arachnid in question was identified as Sydney’s deadly funnel web spider. ‘Hey guys!! We just found this spider on Park Ave, Mosman” wrote brave Scott McGufficke (he’d managed to wrangle it into a container to show us all what it looked like). “Is this just a garden spider or something more deadly?” Scott was urged by other members to take it to Taronga Zoo for identification and reported back “I have just come back from Taronga Zoo, and yes this is a Sydney funnel web spider. John from the zoo told me that this is the worst season they have seen in years.. please be very careful as we found this inside our apartment… Cheers.”
We’re not so sure many in Mosman slept too well that night! Earlier in the year, Nicky Sloss warned that they were also on the march around Cremorne Point. “Watch where you’re walking Mosman peeps – this (pic above), spotted on the path this morning as we walked the dog (between Mosman Rowers and the first bridge on the Cremorne Point walk).”
It’s rare to spy these amazing prehistoric looking creatures in the area but we’ve been lucky enough to have a few ML sightings. This one was spotted by Rebecca Roberts who reported, “Decent sized Goanna on our walk around Middle Head in Mosman last weekend. Used to seeing lots of Water Dragons and Blue Tongues, but have never seen one of these fellows around here before.”
While people flock to our own Taronga Zoo to see seals up close, there were regular visits by wild seals around Mosman from July-October last year. Ron Ogden took this great pic of one having a splash among the boats at Balmoral.
Meanwhile, Chrissie Ofa and her children were lucky to get up close to this cheeky fellow while fishing at Clifton Gardens.
The “Balmoral Sea-Serpent”!
Image courtesy of Balmoral Beach Club
This one is an oldie, but we absolutely had to share this amazing local discovery – courtesy of and with huge thanks to Balmoral Beach Club, who had it in their archives. This 12-foot ‘serpent’, or oar fish as they’re actually known, made headlines when it was caught on a handline at Balmoral in 1954. One report in a newspaper of the time (the Barrier Mail) stated: “the fish is pale grey with a vicious head, large eyes but no scales. On its head were 2-foot feelers and from top of head to tail was a 2 inch red crest of slender spines.” The Australian Museum Curator of Fishes was promptly interviewed and was the one to identify the oar fish, or ribbon fish as they are sometimes called. The report went on to say that oar fish are “undoubtedly one of the foundations of the sea serpent story” with some reaching 20 foot long. The fisherman, Keith McCrae declared: “When I’m fishing I do expect to catch anything. But not this!”
Thanks so much to our wonderful members for sharing their finds and images with Mosman Living. Please remember: any marine mammal incidents and/or sightings should be reported to ORRCA . Contact the hotline 24 hours 7 days a week on 9415 3333.