grey possum

Common Grey Brushtail Possum

Spotlighting is great fun, and an exciting way to attack nature study for those not inclined to sit for hours with a sketch pad and take botanical notes.

Arm everyone with a torch, take a camera for those inclined that way, and head to the nearest treed area with a water supply.  Just after sunset the nocturnal world comes alive, and a walk with the torches (or a very slow drive with the windows down if you have wee ones in tow!) will reveal a host of wildlife out on the prowl.

Prime the children before hand about what to look for; snakes, frogs, birds, possums, gliders, and spiders,  and teach them to look low and high.  It is a great thrill for the little ones of the family to be the first to spot something, and they take a great interest in “their” find.

If you are able to photograph the creatures you see on your exploration, they can be identified at home with guides to the wildlife in your area.  These can be purchased from your local museum bookshop, or borrow a  general reference book of  birds and animals for your country from the library to identify your finds.  The photos can then be used to illustrate a report, or use one of the many free templates available to make a lapbook about your night adventure.

Tawny Frogmouth with a beetle dinner.

Tawny Frogmouth with a beetle dinner.