WA Trip March 2001 Pt C

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Subject: WA Trip March 2001 Pt C
From: "Vella" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 19:05:26 -0000

MONDAY (19/3) – Cape Naturaliste via Lake Muir and Manjimup

Kept my eyes open for the Western Corellas while driving around Lake Muir and initially had not much luck, so I decided to speak to one of the property owners around the lake to find out if they had seen any Corellas recently. One owner said to try around Mordalup or even better the Tonebridge, just north of Lake Muir, where hundreds of Corellas feed in the paddocks. I drove to Mordalup and picked the Kanangra Cattle Farm as a place to look. Soon after speaking to the stud owner there, I heard the calls of Corellas and located a flock of about 40 Western Corellas on the farm.

Around Lake Muir and Mordalup were also Emus, many Long-billed, Carnaby’s and Red-tailed Black-cockatoos as well as several of both Western Yellow and Scarlet Robins.

Arrived at Cape Naturaliste late afternoon, to try and look out for Red-tailed Tropicbirds at Sugarloaf Rock off Cape Naturaliste. Stayed there till dark with no sign of the Tropicbirds. However, I did see some Australasian Gannets, a few Fleshy-footed Shearwaters and an Arctic Jaeger while briefly sea watching.

When arrived at the Dunsborough Lakes Caravan Park that evening, was greeted by a tame Boobook Owl, perched quite low close to the boom gate. The caravan park owner said that there were 3 tame Boobooks around the park, attracted to mice, with the later feeding on the bird seed of their bird aviary.

TUESDAY (20/3) – Cape Naturaliste and Rockingham area

Made another attempt in the early morning for the Tropicbirds, but first made a stop at some ponds beside Dunsborough golf course, seeing a Greenshank, 3 Yellow-billed Spoonbills and 2 Musk Ducks.

While walking to Sugarloaf Rock from the car park, I quickly located a Red-tailed Tropicbird at about 8 am, circling around the rock and over its nesting site. Its mate soon joined this bird and both (in superb breeding plumage) gave excellent viewing through the scope. One landed on the rock, but out of sight, presumably to feed chicks. Saw also 2 Bottle-nosed Dolphins near the rock.

Around the car park there, saw 4 Southern Emu-wrens and heard a Brush Bronzewing.

After lunch at Rockingham (about 40 km south of Perth) took the ferry across to Penguin Island (about 2 km off the coast). Here many seabirds including the Fairy Penguins breed. Upon landing on the island I saw 2 Roseate Terns amongst Crested Terns on the sand spit beside the jetty.

On the Island, heard a few Fairy Penguins but did not see any. However, there were a hundred or so Bridled Terns (many young birds among the adults with a juv. bird being fed by an adult under bushes), 2 fairly tame Buff-banded Rails (around the picnic area) and several King Skinks (Egernia kingii).

Back on the mainland, I observed through a scope a resting Australian Sea lion, on a facing beach on Seal Island (just north of Penguin Island). It woke up a bit and twisted it head as they often do.

WEDNESAY (21/3) – Perth Area

Met up with Frank O’Connor and visited few of the Lakes close to the city. We visited Perry’s Lagoon (near the WA Birds Australia office), Herdsman and Monger Lakes and saw a good variety of waterbirds.

At Herdsman Lake we saw a male Freckled Duck, a pair of Blue-billed Ducks as well as Great-crested Grebes.

At Monger Lakes were 7 Spotless Crakes, a Pink-eared Duck and several Australasian Shovelers.

After lunch, Frank and myself, looked for waders around the shores of Alfred Cove and saw 10 Grey Plover, 100 plus Pied Oystercatchers and 13 Caspian Terns.

At Frank’s place (close by to Perth), we found 2 Skinks, a Two-toed Skink (Hemiergis quadrileniata) and some Snake-eyed Skinks (Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus) on the brick walls.

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