WA Big Year

To: "birdswa Google Group" <>
Subject: WA Big Year
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2013 14:55:31 +0800

In response to Jenny Spry's question on birding-aus about anyone planning an Australian Big Year, I plan to do a Big Year for Western Australia sometime in the future. The plan is to update my web site for the places visited, plus hopefully write a different version for a book on where to find the birds of Western Australia.

I thought it could be possible to get 400 (using the IOC 3.4 taxonomy). I have just extracted the list for WA and put percentage chances on each species (probably a little pessimistic for quite a few). This indicated that I could expect to see 420 to as many as 440 in a year. I have a WA life list of 498 with many vagrants, so I was surprised that 400 looks fairly easy to achieve.

This would require a trip to Ashmore (for the birds on the way - not the birds on Ashmore), but hopefully including stops on Adele Island and possibly Browse Island. Probably two pelagics from Albany, and maybe one from Perth. A trip to the Neale Junction area, and maybe the Canning Stock Route including Lake Gregory. One or two trips to the Nullarbor Plain area. A full trip (i.e. maybe two weeks) to the north Kimberley during the year (probably as a tour with George Swann), plus a short trip to Silent Grove on the Gibb River Road in early December. A trip to the Abrolhos Islands. A trip to the Esperance islands. Participating for a week on Western Ground Parrot surveys. Participating in the NW Australia Wader Expedition. Quite a bit of time in the Kununurra/Wyndham and Broome/Derby areas in the wet season for the uncommon migrants. Possibly a trip to the Kimberley Coastal Camp at Port Warrender. Obviously a big year for vagrants would help, but it appears that this would not be necessary to make it to 400. It would need most of the nomadic / irruptive species and a reasonable variety of seabirds.

I would hope to add several to my WA list such as Scarlet-chested Parrot, Nullarbor Quail-thrush, Red Goshawk, Pale-vented Bush-hen plus maybe Cicadabird and one or two vagrants. I would not try for Night Parrot, Dusky Grasswren and probably Black Butcherbird.

I have other priorities at the moment (trying to see each family of birds in the world, volunteering for BirdLife Western Australia, etc), but hopefully I will commit to it before the end of the decade. Anyone else would like to have a go? I would be happy to discuss locations for any of the species.

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

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