I've just returned to Sydney after a few days birding in SW WA (10th-15th
March) and despite the heat (over 40C for the first couple of days), the
birding wasn't too bad at all and I managed to add 22 species to my Australia
list in 5 days.
This report is from my east coast perspective and so sorry if some of the
really common locals had me excited! I'd also like to say that I can't
recommend Frank O'Connor's website highly enough and, especially if you're
short on time, this contains an essential wealth of information on the area.
Pretty much everything turned up where it was supposed to be!
After landing up mid morning, the first day was spent driving around the
wheatbelt and Frank's Blue-breasted Fairy-Wren site on Collin's Road off the
Buxton Hwy delivered along with Yellow-plumed Honeyeater and Rufous
Treecreeper. Mute Swan and Laughing Turtle-Dove at Northam and Western Corella
at York (mixed flock with Little Corella) continued the ticking. Plenty of
Singing Honeyeaters about and Ringnecks and Brown Falcon by the roadside.
The second day I headed down to Albany via Dryandra. I only had a couple of
hours at Dryandra in the middle of the day so not ideal but I did find
Red-capped Parrot, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Black Honeyeater and Rufous
Treecreeper. Also a beautiful Gould's Goanna. An evening walk at Lake Seppings
in Albany turned up Inland Thornbill, Red-capped Parrot, Golden Whistler,
New-Holland Honeyeater, Musk Duck, and Swamp Harrier.
The first of two early mornings at 2 Peoples Bay didn't deliver any of the 'big
three' but Red-winged Fairy-Wren and the spotted version of White-browed
Scrubwren were seen at Little Beach and White-naped Honeyeater, Rock Parrot,
Western Rosella, and Red-capped Parrot round the picnic ground and Heritage
trail. Brush Bronzewing on the road out. I then headed to the Stirling Ranges
but a bit hot to be walking too much so driving round picked up Stubble Quail,
Pipits, Scarlet Robin, and Grey Currawong. Returning to Albany just before
dusk, the roadsides were full of flocks of birds. Common Bronzewing, Ringneck,
Red-capped Parrot, Elegant Parrot, and Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo.
The second early morning at 2 Peoples Bay was awesome! Western Bristlebird at
6.10am in the Little Beach carpark. As per Frank O'Connor's instructions, wait
in the last car bay and hope it crosses the road. It certainly did cross the
road and joined me briefly in the last car bay only a couple of metres away. No
such luck waiting on the path for the Noisy Scrubbird but I was treated to a
King's Skink giving birth on the track! There were also 6 Rock Parrots at the
carpark. A quick stop at Porongurup rewarded me with Baudin's Black-Cockatoo,
Scarlet Robin, White-breasted Robin, Western Rosella, White-naped Honeyeater,
and Golden Whistler before heading back to Perth.
Another hot day cycling on Rottnest was worth it with White-fronted Chat and
Pheasant on the golf course and Banded Lapwing and Peafowl in the settlement.
The lakes turned up Banded Stilt among the Black-shouldered variety, Red-necked
Avocet, Buff-banded Rail and Sacred Kingfisher.
I only had a few minutes at Herdsmann Lake before the flight home and saw
displaying Musk Duck, all three Ibis, Brown Honeyeater, and Great-crested Grebe.
I really should have given myself more time!
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