WA Report 3a

Subject: WA Report 3a
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 09:59:04 +1000
The names used for Passerines are taken from Schodde and Mason, with asterisks incdicating new species. I have all three files as word documents if anyone would like a copy I can send it directly.

*Noisy Scrub-bird       Atrichornis clamosus
The last of the ?big three? to be seen, eventually seen at Waychinicup NP on the 27th. At least two males calling around the Little Beach area on the 25th, including one at the Frank O?Connor?s preferred site that was close enough to be heard rustling in the undergrowth at my feet. The ?Willie Wagtail on steroids? call is almost deafening when they are close. A number were heard on the way to King Wave Gully, though the two present near here were not obliging at all. Was prepared to stay all day at Waychinicup, though saw a single male within 15 minutes of going to the site described just above the carpark. The bird was calling about 10 metres upstream in the Eucalypts when I arrived and quickly came to investigate when I pished. It scurried around about two feet in front of me, before briefly sitting in the open. It then disappeared into the undergrowth, before calling twice, and then headed back up the creekline to its original spot. With all three of the birds around Two People?s Bay, I felt fortunate that all seemed curious to the observer, and they all allowed me great views.

*Rufous Treecreeper     Climacteris rufa
One bird seen at Bungendore Park on the 2oth was the only bird seen away from Dryandra, where it proved common in the Wandoo on both days. They were not present at other ?regular? sites, like Porogorups and Stirling Ranges National Parks.

Variegated Fairy-wren   Malurus lamberti
Recorded on five days, near the end of the trip, with sightings in the New Beach on the 1st and 2nd and in the Denham area on the following two days. A group seen in coastal heath near Cervantes was also believed to be this species.

*Blue-breasted Fairy-wren       Malurus pulcherrimus
This species, which I found very similar to the previous species, was recorded on six days. Though common at Dryandra on the 20th and 21st, it wasn?t until the second day that I saw a full breeding plumage male. Also recorded at the Stirling Ranges on the 28th, and in Tathra NP (East of Eneabba) on the 31st. The most northerly sighting was at the Murchison River crossing on the 4th, and it was reasonably common in Kalbarri NP the following day.

*Red-winged Fairy-wren  Malurus elegans
This wren was only seen on four days, though was common when present in an area. Two groups were tracked down at Wungong Dam on the 20th, while birds were seen in a number of locations in the Pemberton/Walpole area on the 23rd and 24th. A small flock was also present in the camping area at Waychinicup NP on the 27th.

Splendid Fairy-wren     Malurus splendens
The commonest fairy-wren, being recorded on 12 days. Often present at the same areas as the ?red-shouldered? species, it was seen at Wungong Dam, Two People?s Bay, Stirling Ranges NP, and as far north as Kalbarri NP.

White-winged Fairy-wren Malurus leucopterus
Recorded on six consecutive days from the 1st, from New Beach in the north to the coastal heath south of Kalbarri in the south.

Southern Emu-wren       Stipiturus malachurus
Common in the coastal heaths around Albany, including Two People?s Bay and Waychinicup NP, and seen in the mallee area at Stirling Ranges NP on the 28th to be recorded on four consecutive days.

Thick-billed Grasswren  Amytornis textilis
This race proved to be much more obliging than the one I had previously seen in South Australia. Common around the Monkey Mia area, including the carpark, the walking trail, and back towards Denham about 500 metres, on the 2nd and 3rd. Also recorded at Francois Peron homestead, and at the 26th parallel sign, which was the only spot where they behaved like grasswrens and kept at least two bushes in front of me.

Spotted Pardalote       Pardalotus punctatus
The ?spotted? race was only heard in Karri forest around Pemberton on the 23rd and 24th, and at the Porongorups NP on the 27th. They did not give the complete ?sweet baby? call but was closer to the ?yellow-rumped? race, a single male of which was seen at Fitzgerald River crossing on the 29th.

Striated Pardalote      Pardalotus striatus
Common, recorded on 13 days, at locations including Kings Park, Dryandra, Stirling Ranges NP and as far north as Kalbarri NP.

*Western Bristlebird    Dasyornis longirostris
The call of this species is similar to the Eastern species, and was first heard at Little Beach on the 25th. Heard again in the same area the next morning, and a single bird was seen later that afternoon, pausing briefly to look at me, before disappearing back into the heath. A number were heard above the camping area at Waychinicup NP on the 27th.

*Western Fieldwren      Calamanthus montanellus
I was not confident of finding this recently split species, as the only potential sites I had were at the Pinnacles, near Lancelin and Two People?s Bay. However, birds were seen at two spots in low heath along the northern boundary road of Stirling Ranges NP on the 28th. They birds were considerably greyer than the two Rufous Fieldwrens seen later. I was also told that Fieldwrens were also present in the low heath south of Kalbarri, but strong winds were not suitable for trying to track down the exact species.

Rufous Fieldwren        Calamanthus campestris
A pair of birds seen near the Slender-billed Thornbills at New Beach on the 2nd.

*Redthroat      Pyrrholaemus brunneus
Proved to be relatively common in the shrubland south of Carnarvon, including New Beach, and on the road to Denham. Also seen at Z Bend lookout in Kalbarri NP on the 5th, to bring to four days seen.

White-browed Scrubwren  Sericornis frontalis
A common species, recorded on 19 days, first on Rottnest Island, around the coast as far north as New Beach, in many habitats from wet forest to heath and arid shrubland.

Weebill         Smicrornis brevirostris
Seen on 13 days, including King?s Park on the 18th, Dryandra on the 20th and 21st, Stirling Ranges NP on the 28th and in Kalbarri NP on the 5th.

Western Gerygone        Gerygone fusca
Another common species, being recorded on 12 days. Found in a wide variety of habitats, between Albany and Kalbarri, after being first heard at Wungong Dam on the 20th.

*Dusky Gerygone Gerygone tenebrosa
A single bird was seen at New Beach on the 1st, and after none were seen in mangroves at Carnarvon, two birds were pished into view at New Beach the following day.

Inland Thornbill                Acanthiza apicalis
The most commonly recorded thornbill, with sightings on 17 days. Recorded in both inland and coastal habitats, as far north as New Beach, with the first birds recorded at Dryandra on the 20th.

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill       Acanthiza uropygialis
First recorded at Wave Rock on the 30th, and also seen in roadside vegetation north of Geraldton on the 1st and the 4th. Birds were also seen in Kalbarri NP on the 5th.

*Western Thornbill      Acanthiza inornata
This species, with a call almost identical to the Buff-rumped Thornbill, was first seen at Wungong Dam on the 20th. It also proved common in Dryandra the same day and at Stirling Ranges NP on the 28th. The last of six days sightings was at a roadside conservation reserve just to the north of Northam on the 31st.

*Slender-billed Thornbill       Acanthiza iredalei
A small flock of birds was seen at New Beachon the 2nd, in the low samphire where the road from the Highway meets the coast road. The birds were followed almost to water?s edge, before disappearing into the stunted mangroves.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
Seen on 12 days, usually in roadside vegetation. The first sighting was made west of Dryandra on the 20th, and commonest in the south west, though sightings were made as far north as Kalbarri NP on the 5th.

Singing Honeyeater      Lichenostomus virescens
This species was recorded on 15 days, and was particularly common in suburban Perth and north of Geraldton. Not recorded anywhere on the south coast and wheat belt between Dunsborough and Northam.

White-eared Honeyeater          Lichenostomus leucotis
This species was uncommon, being recorded on only four days. Recorded at a couple of spots in Dryandra, particularly near Old Mill Dam on the 20th, and in the mallee areas of Stirling Range NP on the 28th. A single bird was also seen at the Fitzgerald River crossing on the 29th.

Purple-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus cratitius
Individual birds recorded on the Ongarup walk at Stirling Ranges NP on the 28th and 29th, and a single bird was also seen in the bird bath at the café just north of the park on the former date.

Yellow-plumed Honeyeater        Lichenostomus ornatus
This species had a very similar distribution to the White-eared Honeyeater, being recorded on five days. It was common in Dryandra on the 20th and 21st, but only seen in the immediate area of the Stirling Ranges Retreat on the 28th and 29th. A few more birds were seen in roadside mallee on the southern wheatbelt the following day.

Grey-fronted Honeyeater Lichenostomus plumulus
A single bird was observed in roadside mallee to the north of the Kalbarri turnoff on the 1st.

White-plumed Honeyeater Lichenostomus penicillatus
An individual was seen in roadside vegetation just north of Geraldton on the 1st, with birds seen later that day and the next morning in Carnarvon township. A few birds were also seen in the Hamelin Pools Telegraph Station on the same day.

Yellow-throated Miner   Manorina flavigula
Only seen in disturbed roadside mallee in the wheatbelt on three days from the 29th, with the first birds seen just to the north of the Stirling Ranges NP.

Brown-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus brevirostris
Common at Dryandra, being seen all three days I spent in the reserve. A few were also present in Stirling Ranges NP and was recorded both days at Meanarra Hill near Kalbarri on the 4th and 5th, bringing the day total to eight.

White-naped Honeyeater          Melithreptus lunatus
Very common in a number of different habitats in the south west corner, being recorded on seven days. The first sightings were at Wungong Dam and Dryandra on the 20th, and the last at Stirling Ranges NP on the 29th.

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater        Acanthagenys rufogularis
Seen in heath and scrub north of Eneabba on five days from the 31st, though not in the immediate area of Denham and Monkey Mia.

Western Wattlebird      Anthochaera lunulata
A species that I had listed but was wanting to see again to confirm. Unlike the Little Wattlebird from which it has been recently split, it was not seen once in urban areas, generally found in heath. It was recorded on six days, in a number of locations including the heath near the banding site on Kawana Road at Dryandra on the 21st, at Sinkers Reef carpark on the 26th, on the Ongarup walk on the Stirling Ranges on the 28th and in Yanchep NP on the 7th.

Red Wattlebird  Anthochaera carunculata
Being recorded on 17 days, this was the second commonest honeyeater. It was not recorded north of Geraldton.

Brown Honeyeater        Lichmera indistincta
This was the commonest honeyeater, being recorded on 19 days. It was common in suburban Perth, and was only absent from the Two People?s Bay and Denham areas.

New Holland Honeyeater          Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
Another common species, with 15 days. It was common in Perth, Dryandra and Albany, though was not seen north of Yanchep NP.

White-cheeked Honeyeater        Phylidonyris nigra
Proved much less common than the previous species with records on nine days. First seen at King?s Park on the 18th, it was also seen in small numbers in heath at Dryandra. Between Cervantes and Kalbarri it was one of the commonest species in coastal heath.

White-fronted Honeyeater        Phylidonyris albifrons
First seen in roadside scrub on the Denham road on the 4th, and a number were seen and heard in a number of locations in Kalbarri NP the following day.

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater        Gliciphila melanops
This species was unexpectedly common, being recorded in low heath on nine days. First seen in Dryandra on the 21st, it was also recorded at Two People?s Bay on the 26th, Stirling Ranges NP on the 28th and a number of sites between Kalbarri and Cervantes.

*Western Spinebill      Acanthorhynchus superciliosus
The first tick for the trip was a single bird seen in King?s Park on the 18th. Recorded on another nine days, including at Bungendore Park and Dryandra on the 20th, Two People?s Bay and Waychinicup NP and at the Stirling Ranges NP on the 29th. A single bird flying across the road near Lancelin was the northernmost sighting.

Pied Honeyeater         Certhionyx variegatus
One male seen displaying and another heard in Eremophila scrub along the Murchison road on the 4th.

White-fronted Chat      Ephthianura albifrons
A few birds were seen on Rottnest Island on the 19th, and a couple of small flocks were seen on roadsides to the north of Albany on the 27th and 28th.

*Western Yellow Robin   Eopsaltria griseogularis
First seen on the Ochre Trail at Dryandra on the 21st, at least three were around the carpark at Lol Grey Lookout later the same day. A single bird flew across the road east of Manjimup on the 24th, but proved easiest to find at the Stirling Ranges NP on the 28th and 29th. A bird was also seen near Kalbarri on the 5th, making five days with sightings.

*White-breasted Robin   Eopsaltria georgiana
Found at Wungong Dam on the 20th at exactly the location described by Frank O?Connor. Seen at a number of sites around Pemberton, including at the base of the Gloucester tree on the 23rd. Common at the camping ground in Waychinicup NP on the 27th and on the Ongarup Walk the following day. A possible sighting of a bird disappearing into shrubs on the Pinnacles Road on the 6th would have made six days if I was confident of the ID.

Hooded Robin    Melanodryas cucullata
A robin was identified as this species on Rottnest Island on the 19th. However, as it was only seen from behind as riding past on a bike, it may have been a Red-capped Robin (though the call heard was very different). A pair was definitely recorded south of the Overlander Roadhouse, in one of the few patches of Mulga seen on this road.

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