Sunday, July 15, 2012


A Water Rat paddling in a creek was the last thing I expected to see in Bundanoon early this morning. Peter Lach-Newinsky and I braved icy gusts and went in search of Platypuses for an hour or so. We had no luck with the Platypus, but had staggering views of the Water Rat, which showed off on creek bank rocks about six feet away from us for about a minute, then vanished. Several bubbles coming to the water's surface alerted me to the mammal's presence. We'd seen the thing swimming downstream from where we were five minutes earlier. The Rat was orange-rufous below and blackish on its upper parts. A long tail ended in a white tip. This white tip threw Peter and I re. identification. I kept thinking of a Giant White-tailed Rat I once watched scale a tree in an orchard at birding Mecca Kingfisher Park (Julatten, North Queensland) in the late 90s. Obviously, it wasn't a southern specimen of the GWTR as they're not found in NSW. Peter and I joked about discovering a new species and came up with silly Latin terms for it. I don't think I've ever seen a Water Rat before. LJ, July 15 2012.


  1. Those white-tailed bush rats were everywhere on the Cairns Northern Beaches. They were pretty unpopular because they would get into peoples houses and because they are protected they couldn't do anything about it! I wonder what species the one you spotted is? Rattus Johnsonii?
    PS Thanks for the email. Lovely to know we have a Platypus nearby :)

  2. Just had a quick look about and found this link
    wonder if this is your little ratty friend?