WA TRIP Part 2 - Southwest

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Subject: WA TRIP Part 2 - Southwest
From: "Lynn Jenkin" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 13:21:36 +1000

As mentioned in Part 1, I saw 139 species in the southwest, including 24 new
species (preceded by an *). I started by going straight to Busselton by bus
from the airport, where I attended a conference for 4 days. Little time for
birding but managed 40 species in and around Abbey Beach Resort where I was
staying. This included 5 new birds, *Splendid Fairy-wren, *Western Rosella,
*Western Thornbill, *Western Spinebill and  *Western Gerygone. Also the
western race (28) of the Australian Ringneck (race semitorquatus).

After the conference I hired a car and headed off firstly to Cape
Naturaliste, stopping on the way at the Dunsborough Golf Course which has
some largish lakes running along beside the road. Not much here apart from a
pair of Musk Ducks. It was cold and windy at Cape Naturaliste as it was most
of the trip.
Managed to see only Eastern Reef Egret, Australian Gannets and Southern
Right Whale
Sugarloaf Rock revealed 3 Red-tailed TropicBirds and a female Southern

Heading south I stopped at a few places along the coast. At Gracetown added
*White-breasted Robin, Common Sandpiper and Hooded Plover. Along the coast
Pacific Gull, Pied & Sooty Oystercatcher, Red capped Plover. The first night
I stayed at Augusta and headed out to Cape Leeuwin in the morning seeing
Elegant Parrots on the way. At the lighthouse a pair of Nankeen Kestrels
were nesting on the ledge of the lighthouse. Added *Rock Parrots around the
houses there. A very quick detour to Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park added
*Red winged Fairy-wren before heading off to Albany, via Nannup, Manjimup
and Mount Barker.

Not far out of Karridale I came across my first flock (around 60 birds) of
*Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo feeding in a paddock and wheeling around calling.
Great stuff! Also on the way saw Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos, Scarlet Robins,
Dusky Wood-swallows, Emu and a pair of *Red-capped Parrots. I stayed at
Coraki Holiday Cottages on the way to Two Peoples Bay. The gardens here were
alive with birds and being on the river as well added many water birds and a
few migratory waders. A great spot to stay. Some of the birds seen included

Osprey (3) , Little Eagle  , Australian Hobby,
Grey Plover , Common Greenshank,  Whimbrel,
Common Sandpiper ,Grey-tailed Tattler , Pied  & Sooty Oystercatchers,
Yellow-billed Spoonbill , Caspian Tern   ,Western Rosella,
Red-capped Parrot , White-breasted Robin (on nest) , Splendid Fairy-wren,
Red-winged Fairy-wren , Golden Whistler ,  Common Bronzewing,
*Long-billed (Baudin's) Black-Cockatoo ,  Nankeen Night Heron,
White-naped Honeyeater

I had two early morning trips to Two Peoples Bay but failed to see the "big
three", ie. Western Bristlebird ( must of nearly been able to touch it with
the closeness of its call !) , Western Whipbird and Noisy Scrub-bird. I didn
't have the time or the patience to sit all day and wait. However added
*Spotted Nightjar to my life list. Other species seen included a Male
Southern Emu-wren, and Grey Currawong. I will definitely allow more time
here next time as it is a very scenic spot.

A quick sea watch at The Gap & Natural Bridge at Albany yielded only
Yellow-nosed Albatross, Great-winged Petrel and Australasian Gannet as the
conditions were not good. I stopped in at Lake Seppings on my way back to
Coraki and got distant views of *Blue-billed Ducks & Musk Ducks, added
Clamorous Reed Warbler and on the way back to the car I came across the only
*Red-eared Firetail that I saw. It was on the path about 5 metres in front
of me tugging on and eventually successfully making off with some nesting
grass. A fabulous bird to see with great colour contrasts.

The next day I headed up to the Stirling Ranges. Around the campsite at the
Retreat was a pair of *Rufous Treecreepers which were very tame, hopping
right up to your feet. They were also nest building. It was reported earlier
that somebody had been standing around and one of the Treecreepers starting
climbing up their leg! Added several birds to the list around the Retreat:

*Regent Parrots another fantastic bird to see.
*Purple-crowned Lorikeets
*Blue-breasted Fairy-wren
*Western Yellow Robin
Yellow-plumed Honeyeater
Crested Shrike-tit (race leucogaster)

As suggested on Frank O'Connor's website, I walked to Rangers Dam seeing
Purple-gaped and Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters, *Southern Scrub-robin and Brush
Bronzewing. Several birds were in various stages of nest building or on
nests. These included

Scarlet Robin  ,Western Yellow Robin , Restless Flycatcher,
Rufous Treecreeper,  Tawny Frogmouth , Grey Currawong,
Tree Martin , Brown Goshawk  , Elegant Parrot

The next day I set off for an over night stay at Narrogin and then on to
Dryandra State Forest. At Narrogin added  *Little Wattlebird. The four hours
I spent at Dryandra were very hot, making a change from the cold weather
around the coast. The highlight for here was a *Square-tailed Kite gliding
through the tree tops at the Kawana Road Banding Site, also Wedge-tailed
Eagle, just as Frank said there could be! Also saw Jacky Winter,
Tawny-crowned and White-cheeked Honeyeaters, Western Yellow Robin, several
Rufous Treecreepers.

Finally I spent one day in Perth before flying to Broome.  With limited
time, I decided the best places to visit were Herdsman Lake and Lake Monger
and I was not disappointed. Both were great birding spots.
Lake Monger gave me very close looks at Musk Ducks (1 male displaying right
near the shore about 10 metres from me) and Blue-billed Ducks, Great Crested
Grebes, Reed Warblers, Little Grassbird, *Laughing Turtledove (nearly
escaped without seeing this after being in WA for 10 days!), Australian
Shelduck, Singing Honeyeater.

Herdsman Lake was also a fabulous spot and I didn't see one snake.  Some of
the birds seen were

Blue-billed Duck,  Musk Duck , Australasian Shoveller,
Pink-eared Duck  ,Great Crested Grebe, *Glossy Ibis (7),
Yellow-billed Spoonbill , Swamp Harrier

I had an absolutely fantastic time birding, walking and taking in the WA
scenery. I think the most stunning bird here was the Red-capped Parrot, a
truly magnificent bird. Off to North Queensland next week for a week so will
have another trip report soon.


Dick Jenkin

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