Most people on this list probably know to look up Frank O?Connors website (http://members.iinet.net.au/~foconnor/) before organising a trip to the southwest of Western Australia but for what its worth I have written a short report on the birding highlights of brief trip to the region. I was visiting Perth for 10 days and managed to get in a few early morning walks around the hills at Lesmurdie and Kalamunda, where I was staying with friends, and a 4 ½ day trip around the southwest during which I found most of the endemic birds of the region, thanks largely to the information on Franks website.
7/10/04 Wungong Gorge
White-breasted Robin ? around the carpark
Western Gerygone ? common
Splendid Fariywren ? common throughout the trip
Red-winged Fairywren ? on the walk to the orchard and in the orchard
Laughing TurtleDove ? common
7/10/04 Bungendore Forest Park
2 Western Yellow Robin ? within a 100 metres on the entrance to the park, heard calling about 50 metres into the woodland on the opposite side of the track to the school oval
Rufous Treecreeper ? along Causarina Road
Blue-breasted Fairywren ? in the woodland behind Oldmill Dam
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater ? common in the same area as above
Rufous Treecreeper ? common
Western Spinebill ? common
NUMBAT ? feeding near the start of the Ochre Trail
8/10/04 Little Beach (Two Peoples Bay)
A quick late afternoon visit allowed brief views of a singing Western Bristlebird at the start of the overgrown fire corridor on the way up to Noisy Scrubbird rock (heard only but not around the rock)
9/10/04 Little Beach (Two Peoples Bay)
Up at first light and back out to Little Beach. Stunning views of several Western Bristlebird around the carpark. Best views were on the more open ground between the toilet block and the carpark as they moved between patches of cover. I continued on the path back towards the Information Centre and found several Brush Bronzewing (had earlier seen several on the drive into TP Bay), a group of Southern Emu-wren and a Tiger Snake. I could hear the Noisy Scrubbird as soon as I arrived at Franks recommended spot along this path. No sooner had I sat down on the path than the Scrubbird crossed from one side to the other giving good but brief views, just long enough to focus the binoculars. I spent the next while listening to the Scrubbird as it moved about its territory and moved quietly along the path trying to predict where it might recross the path. 40 minutes later, I decided it was definitely moving back up the slope towards me (some 150m) further along the path towards the Info Centre and sat down again on the path. A minute later the bird duly obliged and appeared on a branch about 10 cm off the ground at the side of the path, allowing me to get great views for about 10 seconds until it crossed the path and disappeared into the heath again.
The walk to Sinker Reef produced another group of Southern Emu-Wren, more Brush Bronzewing, Western Spinebill and several Brown Quail but not the hoped for Rock Parrot. The winds were really starting to pick up so I decided to head to Torndirrup NP for a spot of seawatching. The road out of TP Bay produced several Western Rosella, Red-capped Parrot, 6 White-tailed Black Cockatoos (?couldn?t identify which species), and an Australian Hobby.
A quick seawatch from The Gap, Torndirrup NP, saw me watching a steady flow of Shy, Black-browed and Yellow-nosed Albatross. In fading light at the end of day I found 21 Short-billed Black Cockatoo feeding along Quaranup Road.
10/10/04 Stirling Ranges
Up early again for the drive to the Stirling Ranges. A walk along the woodland and heath between the Bluff Knoll road and the paddocks to the north proved excellent for parrots with common 28s, Red-capped Parrot, several Western Rosella, Short-billed Black Cockatoo, numerous Purple-crowned Lorikeets and stunning views of a pair of Regents Parrots. Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters were common at this site and I also saw more Western Thornbill, Western Gerygone, Scarlet Robin, and a Little Eagle.
10/10/04 Porongurrups NP
I soon found a lone Red-eared Firetail feeding along the Wansborough Walk. I was beginning to get worried about my chances of finding this beauty. More Western Rosella, Red-capped Parrot, White-breasted Robin and my first Long-billed Black Cockatoos of the trip.
10/10/04 Muir Lake
Two small parties of Western Corella were observed. One near the northern shore of the lake and the other in paddocks just to the west of the lake.
10/10/04 Cape Leeuwin
Fairy Terns but unfortunately no Rock Parrots.
11/10/04 Cape Leeuwin
Back out to Cape Leeuwin but still no Rock Parrot (dipped on this bird completely).
11/10/04 Cape Naturaliste ? Sugarloaf Rock
Good views of the 3 Red-tailed Tropicbirds. One struggling/playing in the strong winds above Sugarloaf Rock for about 15 minutes. 5 Shy Albatross and 7 Yellow-nosed Albatross passing just offshore added to the fun.
15/10/04 Lesmurdie Falls NP
A short early morning walk saw me watching 3 Long-billed Black Cockatoos feeding only 5 metres away and a Little Eagle repeatedly attacking a Brown Goshawk (this continued for about five minutes until the Goshawk had truly had enough and dived off down the slope). Not a bad way to say goodbye to Perth.
Anyway, I had a great time birding around the southwest and have only really mentioned the birds of interest to an east coast birder (Brissie) and can?t rate Franks website highly enough.