Dicks WA Trip Report - long

To: <>
Subject: Dicks WA Trip Report - long
From: "Lynn Jenkin" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 18:35:44 +1000
My apologies to everyone but the blame lies with me, being the closest thing
this household has to someone that actually has a clue about what the
computer is doing I neglected to tell Dick he could just copy his document
in to a mail message, so here it is  (Lynn)


Hi all!

Just back from 4 weeks in WA, my first time there. I spent 1.5 weeks in the
SouthWest, then flew to Broome and had 2.5 weeks around Broome and the
Kimberley's including a 10 day Black Grasswren trip with George Swann of
Kimberley Bird Watching.

The first 4 days in Broome were spent at the Bird Observatory (BBO). The
International Wader Study Group was also staying there at the time. I
extensively used Frank O'Connor's site notes and found these to be excellent
and very reliable.  I saw 297 species for the whole trip, 139 in the South
and 158 extras in the North. Around 240 species seen in the North. New
species for me, totalled 73! 24 in the south, 12 at the BBO and 37 out with
George. New birds are preceded with an *.

Whilst I was at the BBO the tides were over 9 metres most days which meant
the waders weren't roosting on the beach but flying back over the mangroves
to Roebuck Plains. The sheer numbers were great to watch but rather
frustrating to get good looks at. I still managed to see two new waders in
*Terek Sandpiper and * Broad-billed Sandpiper. Missed out on the Asian
Dowitcher and Red Shank.
Other waders/ sea birds seen included

Common Sandpiper
Lesser Sandplover
Greater Sandplover
Grey Plover
Pacific Golden Plover
Red capped Plover
Bar tailed Godwit
Black tailed Godwit
Great Knot
Red Knot
Grey tailed Tattlers
Common Greenshank
Eastern Curlew
Pied Oystercatcher
Ruddy Turnstone
Lesser Crested & Crested Terns
Little Terns
Curlew Sandpiper
Red necked Stints
Brown Booby (Cable Beach)
*Sanderling (Cable Beach)

The mangroves revealed lots of new birds

*Broad billed Flycatcher
*White breasted Whistler
*Mangrove Golden Whistler
*Yellow White-eye
*Dusky Gerygone
*Mangrove Grey Fantail.

Roebuck Plains

*Red chested Button-quail
*White winged Black Terns (1 in stunning breeding plumage)
Gull Billed Terns

My other new bird for here was the *Rufous throated Honeyeater, which were
plentiful around the BBO.

Raptors seen included

White bellied Sea-Eagle
Brahminy Kite
Black Kite
Nankeen Kestrel
Spotted Harrier
Brown Falcon
Black shouldered Kite
Brown Goshawk
Collared Sparrowhawk

We started our tour with George by coming to a screaming halt after 100
metres of travel and right outside Cable Beach Resort was a Princess Parrot
on the overhead wires. It was with 2 Cockatiels, and as we watched with
amazement, a Pheasant Coucal crossed the road. Off to a good start even if
it was most likely an escapee. Reports when we got back revealed that there
had been 8 Princess Parrots hanging around the Caravan Park at Cable Beach
and on our last day in Broome whilst we were swimming in the pool, a
Princess Parrot wheeled around overhead calling madly. Fabulous to see.

The Mangroves around Broome found me another new bird in the * Red headed

Off to the sewerage works where there were lots of good birds including a
Yellow Wagtail, Whiskered and White winged Black Terns, Magpie Geese, and
Plumed Whistling Ducks.

Next we set off to Derby, stopping at the Fitzroy River crossing where we
found a flowering gum with 7 species of honeyeaters, including
White-throated Honeyeater and Black chinned Honeyeater (Race laetior) adding
one new one in  *Banded Honeyeater. Also on the way added * Oriental Plover,
Green Pygmy-goose, Australian Pratincole and some of the fresh water waders,
Sharp tailed and Wood Sandpipers.

We visited Derby Sewerage works and the water had been cut off for the
overflow about 4 days prior, so most of the ponds were dry. However saw
several *Yellow Chats, including a nest with 2 young. Watched the father
emerging and the mother returning with food, fabulous stuff. Several
*Australian Crakes were around, some with young chicks. *Long-toed Stints
and several Wood Sandpipers were seen. Also *Long-tailed Finches,
Double-barred Finches, Golden headed Cisticolas, Brown Quail, and *Little

The next morning we visited Derby Wharf and mangroves. Saw a Grey Goshawk,
Lemon-bellied Flycatcher (Race flavigaster), *Mangrove Gerygone, Mangrove
Grey fantail, White breasted Whistler. Headed off along the Gibb River road
to Old Mornington Station, stopping at some waterholes along the way. One
revealed several finches and doves coming in to drink.

Diamond Doves
Peaceful Doves
Zebra Finches
Double-barred Finches
Long-tailed Finches
*Pictorella Mannikins

Also saw three *Black breasted Buzzards on the way, Australian Bustard,
Wedge-tailed Eagle and a Spotted Nightjar.

The camp at Old Mornington was fabulous and we had a great meal and drinks
at the bar after a long drive.  Next morning we awoke to the tame Crimson
Finches, Bar-shouldered and Peaceful Doves being fed near the breakfast
table. Several Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens were seen, a stunning bird, along
with *Varied Lorikeets, *Little Woodswallow, *Barking Owl and
Chestnut-breasted Mannikins. A nest with 4 Northern Fantail chicks was
found. Also Bar-breasted Honeyeaters, Red-browed Pardalote and the first of
several Black Bitterns to be seen.

We set off to our next overnight stop at Mt Elizabeth Station, on the way
adding *White-browed Crake, Comb-crested Jacana and passing a flock of
around 350 Pictorella Mannikins.  The next night was spent at Drysdale
Station and we spent most of our time birding around the Rivers. Over these
two days we saw several Crested Shrike-tits ( Race whitei), Crested
Bellbird, Hooded Robin, *Northern Rosella, Varied Sittella ( Race
leucoptera), *Black-tailed Treecreeper, Little Bronze-Cuckoo,  *Brush
Cuckoo, *Bush Stone-curlew, Budgerigar, Masked Finches, Grey-fronted
Honeyeaters, Red-backed Kingfisher, Ground Cuckoo-shrike, Wandering
Whistling-duck, Nankeen Night Heron, Black-necked Stork , Red-tailed
Black-cockatoo, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes, Singing Bushlark, Rufous

Next destination was Mitchell Plateau for 3 nights via King Edward River.
Added Pacific Baza, Little Eagle and Cicada Bird, Grey Butcherbird (Race
argenteus) White-throated Gerygone and *White-browed Robin.
Mitchell Plateau and Falls was absolutely fantastic scenery and birding.
Several rain forest pockets added birds such as Yellow Orioles, Koels,
Torresian Imperial Pigeons, *Little Shrike-thrush, *Rainbow Pitta,
*White-lined Honeyeater, *Green-backed Gerygone, Leaden Flycatcher, Azure
Kingfisher, Figbird (Race flaviventris) Varied Triller.

Yes and we did see two different groups of *Black Grasswrens, an absolutely
stunning bird. Watching them running around and calling was a great
experience.  *White-quilled Rock Pigeons were seen as were *Partridge
Pigeons (Race blaauwi) and Variegated Fairy-wren. Spotlighting revealed only
Tawny Frogmouth, Barn Owl and Spotted Nightjar.

On the way out a flock of around 30 *Fork-tailed Swifts were seen overhead.
As we retraced our steps back to Broome over the next two days we added
*Gouldian Finches and *Sandstone Shrike-thrush to the growing list

All in all a terrific trip and good fun was had by all, the stunning scenery
was also a bonus along with the Frilled neck Lizards, Agile Wallabies,
Antilopine Wallaroo's, Common Wallaroo (Euro) and Northern Nailtail

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