SW WA RFI (long)

Subject: SW WA RFI (long)
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 14:35:25 +0800
At 11:08 16/08/2002 +0930, Quentin Paynter wrote:
I'm visiting south-west WA in a couple of weeks time with some
friends from the UK.

We will be mainly targetting the endemics and potential splits, such
as the western form of the crested shrike-tit, and will be using the
excellent information on Frank O'Connor's web page and the
Thomas & Thomas guide book to plan our itinerary.

I'm putting this request out in the hope that some kind soul might
provide us with the latest information on where some of the tricky
species have recently been seen, in the hope that we might tick
things off quickly enough to also have time to head up to Kalbarri NP
and Monkey Mia.

I have been a bit slack this year and not updated my web site with extra information that I have.  So here is an update on the SW specialties.  Details about most locations can be found on my web site.


Very good chance in the Gnowangerup to Jerramungup areas but you need to ask the locals for advice as they are usually on private property.  Near the Fitzgerald River bridge is a chance.  Near the Hyden cemetery is a chance.  Koomal Road at Dryandra is a chance.

Common Pheasant (introduced)

Almost a certainty on the golf course at Rottnest between sixth tee and seventh green.

Indian Peafowl (introduced)

Almost a certainty around the settlement at Rottnest.  Try near bakery or the pub.

Mute Swan (introduced)

A certainty on the Northam Weir.

Freckled Duck

Usually turns up at Herdsman Lake from January to May, but first seen in July this year.  When they are around Perth, then often at south end of Carine Open Area.

Red-tailed Tropicbird

Mid to late September until May at Sugarloaf Rock near Cape Naturaliste.

Little Bittern

A fair chance at Regent Waters on James Spiers Drive in Wanneroo near SE corner of Lake Joondalup.  A chance at Herdsman Lake in front of the wildlife centre.

Australasian Bittern

A fair chance at dusk at Lake Powell between Albany and Denmark on Lower Denmark Road.

Square-tailed Kite

A good chance from early to mid September to autumn throughout much of the south west.  e.g. Dryandra, Stirling Range, Fitzgerald River, Two People's Bay.

Red-necked Phalarope

Seen for about last eight years at Rottnest.  Usually between November and January, but as early as August and as late as March.

Banded Stilt

Some always at Rottnest.  Often turn up on south west wetlands during summer.

Hooded Plover

Almost certain on the beaches near Augusta if you look hard enough.  In good numbers in the Yalgorup lake system (e.g. Lake Clifton) south of Mandurah, but in some seasons they are on the harder to access lakes.  Common in the Esperance area.

Bridled Tern

Common at Rottnest, Lancelin, Hamelin Bay, Abrolhos etc from November to February and probably March.

Lesser Noddy

Almost impossible to see except at Abrolhos.  Easiest to see when breeding from late October to January or February.

Laughing Turtle-Dove (introduced)

Very common in Perth, Rottnest and many south west towns.

Short-billed Black-Cockatoo (endemic)

Common for much of the year (especially summer) in Perth.  Northern pine plantations are definitely better (e.g. Yanchep, Lake Gnangara, Lake Jandabup) but Kings Park and South Perth Zoo are good chances.  Fairly common in the south west in spring when breeding.  e.g. Stirling Range, Albany, Esperance.

Long-billed Black-Cockatoo (endemic)

Fairly common in the lower south west and the Darling Range.  Seen as far east of Waychinicup.  Porongorups is a good chance.  Busselton to Augusta area, and Augusta to east of Manjimup are good areas.  Wungong Gorge near Perth is a good chance.  Note that Short-billed can occur throughout the range.  Can be distinguished by call, but probably not by visitors to the SW.  Therefore you need to get a good look at the bill.  If you only think it is long, then it is probably a Short-billed.  You will know for sure when you see a Long-billed.

Western Corella (endemic)

Two races.  The nominate race is usually fairly easy to find at Rocky Gully between Mt Barker and Manjimup.  If not at Rocky Gully then on the east side of Lake Muir, or in the areas north of Lake Muir up to Perup Nature Reserve and Tone River.  The other race can usually be found between Northam and Toodyay at the Katrine Bridge, near New Norcia or near Lancelin north to Dongara.  However, the northern race mixes with Little Corella, so you need to look for the colouring around the face, etc as well as the long bill.

Regent Parrot

Very good chance at Stirling Range across to Jerramungup.  Often seen between Albany and Mt Barker.  Very good chance in summer near Lake McLarty near Pinjarra.

Western Rosella (endemic)

Very common near Albany.  Can usually be found at Wungong Gorge, Gleneagle Rest Area, Dryandra, Stirling Range, Porongorups, etc.  You will see it somewhere so don't go out of your way for this species.

Red-capped Parrot (endemic)

Again very common throughout much of the south west and no need to go looking for this.  Common at Wungong Gorge / Bungendore, Dryandra, Albany, Augusta, etc.

Elegant Parrot

Not always easy to find outside of spring / summer.  You will usually come across this beside the road somewhere.  Stirling Range is a very good location.  Often a few near Bunbury / Busselton, and maybe Augusta.

Rock Parrot

Almost certain at Cape Leeuwin lighthouse.  Almost certain on Rottnest near Bathurst Point lighthouse, tennis court and sewage ponds.  Very good chance at Two People's Bay.  Fair chance at Middleton Beach in Albany.  Good chance at Lancelin.  Very good chance on beach at Esperance near where Woody Island trip leaves.

Masked Owl

I have yet to see this in WA, but it has been seen at Dryandra (I heard it!), Stirling Range area, Boranup near Augusta, etc.

Noisy Scrubbird (endemic)

The bird everyone wants in the south west!  Best chance is at Cheyne Beach east of Albany.  Park at entrance to caravan park, walk back to Cheyne Beach Road and turn right.  Listen for the loudest bird!  You are not close until your ears are hurting.  Very good chance at creek crossing half way into Waychinicup.  Fair chance near firebreak across gully at Waychinicup.  Good chance of poor view along the walk track from Little Beach to Two People's Bay.  You should see it (i.e. at least a glimpse!) if you are serious about finding this bird.  You must find a good viewing area and sit still and wait.  If you haven't seen it within 30 minutes you probably won't.  The weather is a problem (wind and sometimes rain), so allow two or three days.

Rufous Treecreeper

Very common at Dryandra, Stirling Range, Flynn Road, etc.

Blue-breasted Fairy-wren

Common at Dryandra but can take some work to find.  Best chance is near Old Mill Dam (up slope to right), Kawana Road Dam, Ochre Trail, heath on Kawana Road, etc.  Much harder to find now at Stirling Range.  Can be found in Fitzgerald River.

Red-winged Fairy-wren (endemic)

Very common in the far south west and the wetter areas.  e.g. Manjimup, Augusta, Albany (Lake Powell, Two People's Bay picnic area, Coraki Cottages), Waychinicup, etc.  Gleneagle Rest Area is the best site near Perth.  Piesse Brook and Wungong Gorge are also reasonable chances.

Western Bristlebird (endemic)

Best chance is Little Beach car park just after dawn.  Very good chance near power pole 102 to 104 on Cheyne Beach Road.  Very good chance along track into Waychinicup.

Shy Heathwren

Hard to see.  Best chance is in the Fitzgerald River NP at Twertup.  Look for areas of mallee.  Easiest site is at Eyre Bird Observatory but this is outside the SW.

Rufous (Western) Fieldwren (endemic sub species, probable full species)

Very good chance at power pole 102 on Cheyne Beach Road.  Almost certain near Kalbarri (e.g. in low heath above Red Bluff).  This is split in Schodde & Mason, but Ron Johnstone from Museum of WA disagrees.

Western Thornbill (endemic)

Easiest site is Bungendore State Forest near Perth.  Can be found at Dryandra and Stirling Range but sometimes requires a bit of work.  Fairly common in jarrah / marri woodland with low ground cover.  e.g. in Darling Range, or Muir Highway betwen Mt Barker and Manjimup.

Little (Western) Wattlebird (endemic sub species, probable full species)

Common but easy to miss on a trip through the south west.  Most common in heath with banksias, dryandra or hakea.  Can be found at Kings Park, Dryandra, Stirling Range, etc.  Best chance is probably Waychinicup, and near Cheyne Beach.

Purple-gaped Honeyeater

Very good chance in mallee heath near rangers dam at Stirling Range.  Very good chance near Jerramungup and Fitzgerald River.

Western Spinebill (endemic)

Very common in the south west, especially where there is flowering banksia, dryandra, hakea, etc.  Certain at Bungendore, Dryandra, Waychinicup, Two People's Bay, etc.

Western Yellow Robin

Almost certain at Gleneagle Rest Area, Bungendore, Dryandra (Ochre Trail), etc.

White-breasted Robin (endemic)

Certain at Gleneagle Rest Area.  Very common in wetter areas in the south west such as Albany, Two People's Bay, Waychinicup, Manjimup, Porongorup, Augusta.

Southern Scrub-robin

Common at Fitzgerald River.  Can usually be found at Stirling Range and Meanarra Hill near Kalbarri.

Western Whipbird

Best chance is at Fitzgerald River bridge.  It seems to have moved into the SW area which is regenerating after a fire.  Near Cheyne Beach caravan park is a fair chance.  Near power pole 104 on Cheyne Beach Road is a chance.  Near Little Beach car park is a good chance.  You should hear it, but can be hard to see.  Made harder as calls are often 20 to 30 minutes apart.

Crested (Western) Shrike-tit (endemic sub species, probably full species)

This is the hardest of the south west endemics to find.  Good chance at Dryandra near Arboretum and Ochre Trail, or near Kawana Road dam.  Good chance at Stirling Range at the Retreat and near Paper Collar Creek.  Reported fairly often between Augusta and Margaret River at Jewel Cave, Boranup State Forest, etc.  Flynn Road is a good chance.

Red-eared Firetail (endemic)

This can often be missed on a trip of the south west.  The lawn area at Wungong Gorge is still a fair chance.  The Little Beach car park is a chance.  Lake Powell is a good chance.  Lake Seppings in Albany is a chance.  Near Coraki Cottages is a chance.  The Cape Naturaliste lighthouse information centre is a good chance at the feeder.  Woody Island at Esperance is a very good chance.  Manjimup and Pemberton area is a good chance.

Quentin mentioned Kalbarri and Shark Bay.  The main bird to look for at Kalbarri is the Rufous (Western) Fieldwren, plus White-fronted Honeyeater.  Kalbarri is best for the wildflowers.  The other main reason I stay overnight at Kalbarri is to break the drive to or from Shark Bay.  Shark Bay is a ten hour drive from Perth.  I often stay in Geraldton to allow an early start on the road from Geraldton to Yalgoo to Mt Magnet to Cue to look for Grey Honeyeater.

Shark Bay is an excellent area for Thick-billed Grasswren, Chiming Wedgebill, Southern Scrub-robin, Crested Bellbird, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Crimson Chat, Mangrove Grey Fantail, Yellow White-eye, Striated Heron, etc.  Black-breasted Buzzard is a good chance north of the Murchison River.  But note it would add three days at least to your trip.

Three days (four if you can spare it) would probably be better spent going to and from Cue to look for Bourke's Parrot, Mulga Parrot, Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Slaty-backed Thornbill, Slender-billed Thornbill, Rufous Fieldwren, Crimson Chat, Orange Chat, Crested Bellbird, Grey-crowned Babbler, White-fronted Honeyeater, Masked Woodswallow, Western Bowerbird, Redthroat, Grey Honeyeater, White-winged Fairy-wren, Budgerigar, etc.  Cue is only (!) seven hours drive from Perth.

Frank O'Connor     Birding WA
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