At first he tried to pretend he wasn't there, but once he decided that I wasn't too much of a threat, he went on his waddling little way in search of ants to eat.
This is of course, an echidna, a primitive mammal of the monotreme class. The only other monotreme I know of is the platypus. What makes them so special is that, although they are mammals, they lay eggs. Echidnas are only occasional visitors to our garden, so it is always a great thrill to see one passing through. This little fellow was obliging enough to hang around long enough so that I could fetch my camera. We love to encourage native wildlife in our garden, and with five fairly unkempt acres, we do see quite a few different species. Apart from echidnas we also have visits from: wallabies, bandicoots, brushtail possums, ringtail possums, blue tongue lizards, green-and-gold bell frogs, black cockatoos, white cockatoos, a sea eagle, masked lapwings, native hens, mountain ducks, magpies, superb blue wrens, scarlet robins, Eastern rosellas, swallows and a few snakes. I'm pretty sure I've missed a few.
For those of you who have never encountered an echidna, they are about the size of a football and the spines are very sharp!