The first clue that something was digging in our garden was the poor upturned native raspberry bush that looked like it had been scratched out of the ground. The second clue was the distinct scratching noise coming from up the back near the magnolia. A third clue wasn't needed because I found the culprit. An Australian Brush-turkey chick!
Brush Turkey chick up a tree.
We see Brush-turkeys (or Scrub Turkeys as they are sometimes called) often around here. Their huge leaf litter mounds, raked up for the female to lay her eggs in, are a common sight along the paths we walk in our neighbourhood. Those impressive mounds are quite the feat; keeping eggs at a constant temperature thanks to the efforts of the male bird.
Impressive Brush-turkey mound in the park near our house.
The adult male Brush-turkey.
(The owner of that impressive mound in the park.)
Australian Brush-turkeys are protected native birds. They can do a fair bit of damage in a garden with all their raking and scratching so we are hoping this chick doesn't decide to live here permanently. There are things one can do, such as laying wire mesh down under mulch, to try to deter them but once a Brush-turkey has decided to build a nest in your yard, they can be pretty persistent.
We haven't seen this little chick since it flew up into the hedge but I'm keeping an eye out for tell-tale signs of its presence!