Short trip to SW WA

Subject: Short trip to SW WA
From: "Tim Jones" <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 12:17:41 +0000
Dear All,

Many thanks to everyone who replied to my RFI.

Some updates on how Simon and I fared, which may be of use to others, in particular regard to what might be considered 'target' species for the region:

Red-Tailed Tropicbird - saw 3 at Cape Naturaliste at about mid-day on 25th Jan.

Painted Buttonquail - saw 2 at Dryandra, by the Old Mill dam.

Western Corella - big mixed flock with Little Corellas along Avon valley NW of Northam, maybe 10k up.

Long-billed Black Cockatoos - seen very well at Porongorup, Nr. Tree in the Rock car park., also on 22nd.

Short-billed Cockatoos - plenty of sizeable and inquisitive flocks, and good views to compare with Long-billed.

Western Rosella - fairly common, especially Porogorup, which was also seething with Purple-crowned Lorikeets, incidentally.

Rock Parrot - update on the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse site - we arrived there on 25th and met one of the lighthouse keepers as he opened the gate, and asked him about the Rock Parrots. He said they really hadn't been seen much about the lighthouse for the last couple of years. Apparently they used to feed in numbers on the lawns in the early morning, due to the infestations of weeds, but since they decided to cut them regularly, the Parrots had disappeared (I had to bite my lip at this point, as I felt like stating the obvious). Despite searching around the lighhouse for some time, we didn't have a whiff of them, and were considering a trip to Rottnest Is., when I remembered that there had been claims of them around the 'Waterwheel'. We duly had great views of three in the thick bushy area just north of the Waterwheel, from the rocky beach.

Red-capped Parrot - fairly common - Wungong Gorge and Cheyne Beach and Two People's Bay.

Western Bristlebird - we stood and watched forlornly for a couple of hours, 2 days running, at the known location at Cheyne Beach. We heard them calling on and off from the heath. Eventually we moved further up up the track (actually in response to a calling whipbird) and had incredible views of one singing from the bare lower parts of a bush right by the track on the right. After that, of course, we kept seeing them wherever we went at Cheyne Beach, scampering across paths, or flitting through the heath (the birds, not us).

Western Whipbird - got frustratingly close to one known individual at Cheyne Beach, but just couldn't see it. Heard several more, but never got that close again.

Noisy Scrub-bird - no joy at all with the one on the Heritage Trail at 2 Peoples; not even heard. At Waychinicup, got quite close to 2 at known sites, but never saw them. Would really need a longer trip and to devote more time to see these and the Whipbird - we really didn't have the time to spend full mornings staking them out. Still, it's a good reason to return to that stunning part of the world one day.

Western Yellow Robin - no success at Dryandra, but we were there in the middle of a very hot day. Eventually got one at Porungorups, down the road by the dam about 1K from the Tree in the Rock car park. Exactly the same story with Blue-breasted Wren, just not quite as far down the road.

White-breasted Robin - common at Porongorup, Two Peoples, Waychinicup.

Red-winged Wren - Waychinicup and Cheyne Beach. Also seen at Wungong Gorge.

Rufous Treecreeper - common at Dryandra, and especially so at Porongorup.

Western Spinebill - not really a problem anywhere.

Western Thornbill - seen in mixed flock at Bungendore, and also at a couple of other locations (can't remember which ones).

Red-eared Firetail - at Wungong Gorge. Also seen very well at Waychinicup.

Anyway, knowing how much info provided by people through birding-aus served us in planning this short trip, thought we'd try and give something back, and the above might be of some help to the next birder thinking of visiting this unique part of the world - feel free to email me if you want more exact details. From what we did, I reckon that with a bit of luck, you could see all of the above species in a week.....

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