Boulanger and Whitlock Islands, Jurien Bay WA

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Subject: Boulanger and Whitlock Islands, Jurien Bay WA
From: "Jon Hall" <>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 21:15:52 +1100
Last week I was helping a friend of a friend with her Phd looking at Dibblers on the islands in Jurien Bay (about 4 hours north of Perth).  We were working on Boulanger and Whitlock Islands (both only a few kms off shore). The only access to the islands (which are nature reserves) is by private boat and so they are a bit off the beaten track.  ALthough I didn't see anything really interesting there bird-wise (Dibblers however are a great mammal) I thought people might be interested in hearing what was around.
Although Boulanger and Whitlock are almost joined (you can wade between them at low tide without getting your knees wet) the two islands are very different. Whitlock, the smaller island, is home to several thousand wedge-tailed shearwaters at the moment, whereas only white faced storm petrels dig burrows on Boulanger.  The nutrients from shearwater guano means the soil and therefore the veg is very different on Whitlock. 
On Boulanger the more interesting birds were White Faced Storm Petrels, Rock Parrots, a few Sanderlings, a Grey Plover and 50 or so Fairy Terns nesting on the beach.  On Whitlock, Bridled Terns had just arrived, and Ospreys were nesting (in a nest you could walk right up to). Radio tracking dibblers in the dark while dodging (or at least trying to dodge) the shearwaters was an experience!
A Bottlenose Dolphin entertained us one morning rolling around in the seaweed only 5 metres off shore (and in only a metre of water). Saw plenty of Dibblers too, and several hundred house mice.
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