Echidnas are part of Sarsfield Estate.

echidna echidna They are everywhere.
echidna Always inquisitive and exploring... echidna

..the vegie garden....

echidna echidna ...and around the house, with their incredibly sensitive and strong beak.
echidna When we do work in the vineyard, going up and down the rows (on foot or by tractor) echidnas always follow from row to row, much as in Grimm's tale "the hare and the hedgehog". Even leaving out 3 or 4 rows we find the echidna there, waiting for us: "I'm already here!" (see The Hare and the Hedgehog). echidna
And particularly they love to soak in the bird bath. In hot weather at least once a day. echidna echidna
bird bath echidna tracks echidna
echidna  and chicken They love to hang out with our
Croad Langshan chickens.
echidna  and chicken
Firstly there is always a water dish to soak in, and secondly chickens scratching for 'grub' can be cheated out of their prey by surging forward at the right moment and sitting on the scratched-up spot, defending it with spines, then scoffing the scratched-up goodies. echidna  and chicken echidna  and chicken
echidnas echidnas mating August and September are mating time in East Gippsland.

And in January 2016 we found this little furry egg in one of the chook runs.

An hour later it had started to hatch, sprouting big claws and a little beak..

We were quite worried as we didn't know if it had been abandoned. We hadn't seen an adult echidna for days and didn't know that puggles are fed only every 5 days or so. puggle

Fortunately we got valuable information and advice from the
Pelican Lagoon Research & Wildlife Centre.

For the next few days we watched the puggle, drifting to the surface sometimes, then disappearing underground again.

And then, to our great relief, it got fed. -->

puggle feeding Feeding took more than an hour and we sneaked a quick photo of mother and puggle.
We kept watching but did not interfer.

<-- A few days later we realised that there were TWO puggles

and TWO echidnas feeding them.
This is the second one feeding. -->

puggle feeding
puggle puggle

But both puggles seemed to be scratching themselves for hours on end. We again contacted
Pelican Lagoon Research & Wildlife Centre

but were reassured that sprouting spines is an itchy business.

They grew at an incredible speed.
Growing spines, too.

(Mid-February -->)

puggle feeding  

Mid March they left the few square meters they had been living on and found their way into the big world.

This is the last time we saw them - good luck little puggies!

young echidna and chicken young echidna
3 echidnas
© Sarsfield Estate   valid xhtml
To August