Just came back from a fabulous trip in WA, travelled about 6000 km, seeing
beautiful scenery, meeting up with wonderful people and seeing some excellent
wildlife (including well over 200 species of birds). To my knowledge, I saw all
WA’s southwest endemics, including the Western Corella, Western Shrike-tit and
Western Fieldwren. The weather was quite superb the majority of the time, and
not too hot. The highlights of the trip were many:
- having excellent views of all the big 3 at Two Peoples Bay - Noisy
Scrub-bird, Western Bristlebird and Western Whipbird
- seeing Brush-tailed Bettongs (Woylies) at Dryandra
- seeing a pair of Red-tailed Tropicbirds nesting at Cape Naturaliste
- seeing a Dugong with calf at Monkey Mia
- seeing a Thorny Devil at Kalbarri NP
- birding in the mulga around Cue and Mt Magnet.
- Bushwalking at the Porongurups and Stirling Ranges National Parks
- Beautiful coastal scenery at Two Peoples Bay and Sharks Bay
- And many others
The trip was one of my best birding experiences ever and I owe a lot to Frank
O’Connor for his generosity in providing me with a lot of helpful information,
providing accommodation for a couple of nights and tips to find many of these
birds. Frank has a fantastic website (http://www.iinet.net.au/~foconnor/), which
is a must to visit, if you are contemplating your first birding visit to WA. All
the information to see the endemics in the southwest WA is there and found it to
be quite accurate. I must also say thanks to John Duranti, Rod Gardner and David
Koffel and anybody else I forgot, for their assistance with this trip.
My Daily account of the trip is as follows:
SATURDAY (10/3) – Forrestfield and Wungong Gorge (Bedfordale)
After, arriving in Perth just before mid-day and soon after settling in, I
headed out in bush to see some of the first WA endemic birds. The first endemic
bird I saw on the way, were a flock of 25 plus Carnaby’s Black-cockatoos,
flying back and forth over the Shell service station at Forrestfield.
Sooner later at Wungong Gorge (about 25 km southeast of Perth CBD), I saw
more of the endemic and other birds. These included many Ringneck Parrots
(Twenty Eights, Port Lincoln and hybrids between the 2), Red-winged and
Splendid Wrens, Western and Inland Thornbills, Scarlet Robins,
Western Gerygones, and a flock of atleast 20 Red-tailed
Black-cockatoos feeding beside Springfield Rd (just out of the recreation
SUNDAY (11/3) – Rottnest Island
Took the 7:30 am "Boat Torque" shuttle ferry ($38 return) from North
Fremantle jetty to arrive on Rottnest Island at 8:00 am. Rottnest Island lies
20km off from the main land and covers a good range of habitats including large
salt lakes, sand dunes, woodland and man-made habitats (eg. The golf course
close to the settlement). It was not long that I arrived on the island that I
bumped into some of the many tame and inquisitive Quokkas (I think I saw
more than 50 on the eastern part of the island and close to the settlement).
They are very nice animals and easily approachable.
My object bird here was the Red-necked Phalarope (which appears probably now
to be a regular migrant to the island). Unfortunately, the Phalarope was not
seen but I did see a good number of other waders including 4 Grey Plover,
40 plus Sanderlings, hundreds of Red-necked Stints and Curlew
Sandpipers, 200 plus Ruddy Turnstones, 70 plus Banded Stilts,
a Red-necked Avocet etc. Also amongst them, were over 30 Fairy
Terns, both adults and some young birds. On the edge of one of these salt
lakes at one time, saw a Quokka, some Silver Gulls and one of the several
Ring-necked Pheasants, feeding close together.
A walk in the woodland produced Laughing Turtle-doves, Red-capped
Robins amongst many Singing Honeyeaters (which are larger and darker
than the main land birds)
On some very close offshore rocks saw 50 plus Bridled Terns (many
still nesting), an Osprey and 3 Rock Parrots feeding on the pine
trees beside the tennis courts near Bathurst Point lighthouse. Saw also an adult
male Peafowl near the bakery in the settlement.
MONDAY (12/3) – Wungong Gorge and Dryandra Woodland
Another brief visit to Wungong Gorge before heading south of Perth produced a
flock of Carnaby’s Cockatoos feeding on introduced pines at close range, as well
as 2 White-breasted Robins (in the old orchard near the main car park)
and Red-capped Parrots feeding on the marri trees.
At Dryandra (about 200 km southeast of Perth) saw a good mix of birds which
included Brush and Common Bronzewings, Western Yellow Robins (a
few along the Ochre trail and along Tomingley road); several Rufous
Treecreepers; Blue-breasted Wrens; Brown-headed, Yellow-plumed and
White-naped Honeyeaters; as well as Western Spinebills.
Spotlighting at night here produced 8 Woylies, Western Grey
Kangaroos and Common Brush-tailed Possums.
TUESDAY (13/3) - Dryandra Woodland
Some more of Dryandras birds were seen this day, including Elegant and
Red-capped Parrots, a pair of Western Rosellas, Red-capped and
Scarlet Robins, White-browed Babblers and Tawny-crowned
Spotlighting that night produced in addition to what was seen the previous
night, 2 Bush Stone-curlews in the paddock, Boobook Owls (heard)
and a Marbled Southern Gecko (Christinus mamooratus) inside the cottage I
Stayed the 2 nights at the Lions Dryandra Woodland Village. Had a great talk
with Bob Wallace, who was the village caretaker at the