RE: RFI - Two Peoples Bay

Subject: RE: RFI - Two Peoples Bay
Date: 28 Oct 96 16:44:31 +1100

Rob Berry asked for information on Two People's Bay (TPB) and the 'big 
three' - Noisy Scrubbird (NSB), Western Bristlebird (WB) and Western 
Whipbird (WW).

1.  You can ask the rangers (Alan Danks is very helpful) at TPB for where he 
recommends that you go.  Please note that you must not use tapes!  This has 
given birders a very bad name at this site.  By all means use tapes before 
you get there so that you can identify the three calls, but leave them in 
the car.

2.  Try the Little Beach car park at dawn for about 60 to 90 minutes.  The 
turnoff to LB is on the right just before you reach the picnic area.  Park 
so that you are facing back up the hill.  You should see Western Bristlebird 
quickly crossing the road to the traffic island, and if you are lucky they 
may stay in the open in the brush that has been cut to reduce erosion, etc. 
 The WB has also been seen along the track to the toilets.

Standing at Little Beach, you will hear all three.  I have also seen 
Red-eared Firetail a few times (its call is very similar to Beautiful 

3.  The place that people used to be sent to is a fair walk.  Drive to the 
car park for Sinker's Reef.  You can usually hear WB here as well as Rufous 
Fieldwren.  It is about 40 minutes quick walk.  Walk towards Sinker's Reef 
until you reach a fire track on the left.  You can drive a 4WD this far. 
 Walk along the fire track.  You pass one water tank, and about where the 
second tank is there is another track to the left.  I have never been along 
this track, but I have been told that there is a site up Mt Gardiner.  I 
don't know if the rangers like people using that track.  Keep going and you 
reach the end of the track at the third water tank.  Along the track you 
will hear all three, plus Southern Emu-wren, Rufous Fieldwren, Tawny-crowned 
H/E, White-cheeked H/E, possibly Little Wattlebird, etc plus keep an eye on 
the sky for Square-tailed Kite.  You may be lucky to see WW or WB cross the 
track.  The WB tends to be in the very low heath, while the WW tends to be 
in taller heath often where there are a few low mallee trees.

There is a very narrow track down to the creek below.  This is the place 
that I was always recommended.  You can sit on the track hoping that the NSB 
will cross the track, or you can work your way up the creek for 20 metres or 
so and sit in a semi clearing under the bushes.  I have waited here for a 
total of about 16 hours for 2 sightings!  Both sightings were within the 
first half hour, so although I have waited for 4 hours before I recommend 
spending no longer than an hour.  The NSB is very frustrating.  You can be 
deafened by it and still not see it, or you can glance behind you and watch 
it in the semi open for several minutes!

You should see White-breasted Robin while you are waiting, and Long-billed 
(Baudin's) Black Cockatoo could fly overhead.

4.  If you are not too tired by the time you return, then it can be worth 
while walking to Sinker's Reef.  I have been told that there is a better 
chance of WW along this track.  If you hear one, I was told to quietly work 
your way say 20 metres into the scrub and sit down under a bush with a 
reasonable viewing area and just wait.  If you try to locate the calling 
bird, you will have no chance at all.

At the end of the track you are at the top of a cliff overlooking a bay with 
a reef along the shore.  Rock Parrot is often near end of the track, and 
look for Eastern Reef Egret on the reef, and possible seabirds offshore. 
 Red-capped Parrot also feeds on the low eucalypts in the heath also.  Other 
people have seen Shy Heathwren along this track.

5.  The TPB picnic area and beach are worth a quick look for Red-winged 
Fairy-wren, Red-eared Firetail, White-breasted Robin, Rock Parrot, Western 
Rosella, Brown Quail, etc.  I know one person who was lucky enough to see a 
NSB here also.

6.  I have heard from 4 people that the ranger recommends that you go to 
Waychinicup to see the big three now.  They have relocated NSB here.  It is 
about a 60 to 80 minute drive from Albany.  You get to Waychinicup by 
driving along the road to Esperance and turning right at Many Peaks (I think 
 - but it may be another town).  Just before you get to the coast, there is a 
rough limestone track (signposted from memory)  to the right leading to a 
fantastic camping area beside a small inlet.  This track is quite rough and 
4WD is recommended although a 2WD driven very carefully should be OK 
provided water is not flowing over the road at a creek half way in.  It is 
about 10kms or so on the rough track to the camp ground.

All three birds can be heard from the camp ground.  Walk back up the road a 
short distance untill you see a reasonable size area of very low heath.  The 
WB can be found here.  Make your way through this down to the creek line 
that is well marked by the line of trees.  There are a couple of tracks 
across this creek probably formed by kangaroos.  The NSB can be found along 
this creek.  Again, please don't use tapes!  Also, beware of the Tiger 

The WW can be heard in the taller very dense heath, and it is probably not 
realistic to look for.  You can try crossing the creek, and making your way 
towards some granite boulders.  There is a bit of a clearing at the base of 
the rocks where you might strike it lucky.  If you do, then don't bother 
buying any Lotto tickets, as you will have used up your quota of luck (on 
the other hand - buy lots of tickets so that the 1st division will be higher 
for me! :-).

After you turn off the Albany/Esperance road to Waychinicup, while still on 
the sealed road, you pass through a low swampy area.  I have been told that 
Ground Parrot has been heard here.  If you see/hear them please let me know, 
as I am still chasing this for WA.

7.  The only place that I have seen WW is along the highway to Esperance 
between Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe where the road crosses the Fitzgerald 
River.  This is about 3 hours from Albany (about 20 minutes from 
Jerramungup).  I saw it on the north east quarter, but I have heard them in 
many places there.  They call repeatedly and you get to within 20 metres in 
fairly open area but then it goes quiet and it disappears!

8.  The Fitzgerald River National Park is highly recommended for WB and WW, 
and is where most tour groups go to see them.  I have never been there so I 
can't help, although I have heard WW at the rangers information centre, and 
seen Southern Scrub-robin, Square-tailed Kite, etc.  Ground Parrot is also 
possible so I have been told.

I promise nothing!  In fact, count yourself lucky if you get a fair to good 
look at one of the big three, a very brief glimpse of another and only hear 
the third.

In the next 12 months if I find/make the time, I will be putting this sort 
of information on the WWW about all the sites in WA that I know of.  This 
will take a while as my WA list is now 433 and still growing, so be patient! 
 It will only be text based unfortunately as I can't draw, unless there is 
someone who can draw mud maps, etc?

Good birding, and come west some time ...

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