Inland Dotterel and others?

Subject: Inland Dotterel and others?
From: "Frank O\"Connor" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 16:13:45 +0800

Matthew asked about whipbirds, etc in WA.

1. There was an Inland Dotterel in Baldivis quite a few years ago. It hung around for a week or so, so this one may well stay. I haven't been to Lake McLarty this season, so I can't say how good the habitat looks. They usually like very bare ground. There is a station stay not far north of Perth where they breed every year. I can't remember the name, but they have a flyer in the Birds Australia WA office.

2. Western Whipbird. The two best places that I currently know are at Cheyne Beach and Betty's Beach both east of Albany. The heath behind the Cheyne Beach Caravan Park has been burnt. However, this seems to have pushed a bird down near the coast. From the caravan park, walk down the bitumen road towards the point. There is a track that leads up over the ridge. The bird has been seen a number of times from the bitumen road, or the last time I saw it I walked up the rough track to the top of the ridge, and it was just over the top. Listen for it calling, and then look for it in one of the taller bushes.

At Betty's Beach, as you get close you have Two People's Bay on your right and the point straight ahead. You will see a sandy track leading up the hill towards some tall granite boulders. The track is blocked by a pile of sand. Walk up to the rocks. There is one (or maybe two) bird in the vicinity of the rocks. Again listen for it to call.

3. Western (Mallee) Whipbird. I have had success recently on the road up to Mt Trio in the Stirling Range. Either just below the car park at the top, or about 100 metres or so from Formby South Road at the bottom. The morning is the better time, but it is still a chance in the afternoon if it is not too hot. This is a good site for Rufous (Western) Fieldwren, plus Southern Emu-wren and a chance of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo or Square-tailed Kite flying past.

I often take people up to the mallee for the day in the area south to south west of Jerramungup. I usually look along Monjebup Road, Boxwood Ongerup Road and Normans Road. I can usually find Mallee Whipbird, Shy Heathwren, Southern Scrub-robin, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Spotted (Yellow-rumped) Pardalote, White-browed Babbler, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Southern Emu-wren and chances of Brown-headed Honeyeater, Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo, Crested Bellbird, etc. I make my way to Jerramungup for lunch along Normans Road, Cowalellip Road, Carney Road, Stock Road, Browns Road South.

I then quickly visit the Gairdner River crossing just east of Jerramungup.

If I haven't seen Mallee Whipbird or Shy Heathwren then try the Fitzgerald River NP. Either at the fee paying station on Quiss Road, or the SW corner of the Fitzgerald River bridge on the South Coast Hwy.

4. Western Ground Parrot. The only realistic way to see WGP is to volunteer for the surveys, mostly at Cape Arid NP to the east of Esperance. I still haven't seen it, although I have been on about 20 surveys pre dawn or after dark at Cheyne Beach and Fitzgerald River NP. I have heard a few, but I didn't see any of them fly which sometimes they do at dusk. Very roughly, the surveys involve standing at a given spot for an hour either before dawn, or after sunset recording any calls that you hear. You are given a GPS to get you to the exact place for your survey. You are bush camping for the week.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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