Lake McLarty WA

Subject: Lake McLarty WA
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 01:00:42 +0800

On Friday, I visited Lake McLarty near Pinjarra south east of Perth with two Dutch friends. The water level is excellent (although lower than most previous years for mid December, but much higher than 2001).

The waterbirds were phenomemal, with an estimate 30,000 plus birds. Rough estimates are as follows :


Red-necked Stint 4,000 to 5,000
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 2,000 to 2,500
Curlew Sandpiper 200 to 300 (with one Victorian leg flagged CS reported to AWSG)
Common Greenshank 5 to 10
Long-toed Stint 5 to 10

Red-capped Plover 400 to 500
Black-winged Stilt / Banded Stilt / Red-necked Avocet 3,000 to 5,000
Red-kneed Dotterel 1


Silver Gull 50 to 100
Whiskered Tern 3 (in near breeding plumage)


Grey Teal 5,000 to 10,000
Australian Shelduck 1,000 to 2,000
Black Swan ~500
Eurasian Coot ~750
Pacific Black Duck 10 to 100
Australasian Shoveller 100+


White-necked Heron 3
Yellow-billed Spoonbill 7
White-faced Heron 20+
Australian Pelican 4

We only covered about 25% of the shoreline (on the eastern side), and a very quick look on the west side. The purpose of our visit was not to count the birds, so the estimates are very rough, and done after the visit. I am sure that some species would have been undercounted (hence our estimate of 30,000 birds but a total above of less than that).

The water level looked like good conditions should last for another two to three weeks, and then perhaps the water level might get too low and the numbers will drop off quickly.

PS : The Freckled Ducks seem to be flocking to the coast. Last Tuesday we counted at least 61 Freckled Ducks at Herdsman Lake in Perth (I think there were probably at least 70+) but they were hard to count as they moved around to some extent. This is the highest count of Freckled Ducks that I am aware of in WA in one place for quite some time. Great photo opportunities, as you could approach some to within 10 metres while they loafed on the bank.
Frank O'Connor     Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694                Email : 

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