WA Trip March 2001 Pt E

To: <>
Subject: WA Trip March 2001 Pt E
From: "Vella" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 19:09:04 -0000

MONDAY (26/3) - Mullewa to Cue (Nallan Station)

At dawn, along the road between Mullewa and Cue, roadside birding produced a great number of mulga birds. Several Redthroats, Chestnut-rumped Thornbills, Southern Whitefaces, both Grey-crowned and White-browed Babblers, several White-fronted Honeyeaters, Crested Bellbirds, Black-eared Cuckoo (heard), 2 male Crimson Chats, Red-capped Robins, Yellow-throated Miners, a Grey Honeyeater and a Bourke’s Parrot were seen. Also saw 7 Banded Lapwings beside the road at Yalgoo.

I stayed the next 2 nights at Nallan Station (14 km north-east of Cue) which is currently owned by Michael and Sandy Clinch. They can provide visiting tourists with both accommodation and meals and I took both of these options. The stations covers thousands of hectares of mulga and there is a great list of birds available on what is found there (see Frank O’Connor’s web site). When birding in the mulga, be very careful as one can get lost very easily. Michael told me that a couple got lost on their property and had to stay in the bush over night in the cold.

At Nallan Station, an afternoon walk produced Slate-backed Thornbills, 2 stunning Splendid Wrens in full breeding plumage, 2 male Mulga parrots, Hooded Robins, Crested Bellbirds, several Redthroats and several Western Bowerbirds feeding on palm fruits about the homestead. Saw also a Gould's Goanna (Varanus gouldii) and Lozenge-marked Dragon Ctenophorus scutulatus) and several Red Kangaroos in the bush here.


Along Sandstone Rd (heading east of Cue) produced 3 Little Button-quail, several Chiming Wedgebills, lots of Masked Woodswallows etc.

At night about the cottage I stayed on Nallan Station, saw a few Variegated Dtellas (Gehyra variegata) (a species of Gecko) feeding under the roofs. Also saw some frogs which I have yet to identify as well as a very large Praying mantis (about 20 cm in length).

TUESDAY (27/3) – Cue

Birded after dawn around Sandstone Rd and was thrilled to see a swarm of 2000 plus Masked Woodswallows with 20 plus Pied Honeyeaters, 6 plus Little Button-quail, many Crimson Chats, a Mulga Parrot and a Budgerigar or two. Nearby saw a male Redthroat, Slate-backed Thornbills, Southern Whitefaces and a Grey Honeyeater.

A visit to lake Anneen after lunch produced good number of common waterbirds. Saw about 40 Pink-eared Ducks, 4 Gull-billed Terns and Australian Hobbies hawking about the lake edge. Several more Crimson Chats (nesting) were found in the saltbush/bluebush areas, along with Zebra Finches and White-winged Wrens.

WEDNESDAY (28/3) – Cue to Paynes Find

Again near Sandstone Rd, there were still the thousands of Masked Woodswallows, hundreds of Crimson Chats and a few Pied Honeyeaters but was delighted to see 6 Bourke’s Parrots feed along the roadside close at hand.

Just out of Mt Magnet (about 80 km south of Cue) about 10 km on the road to Yalgoo, I saw many White-fronted Honeyeaters feed on some flowering shrubs. On a hill nearby on the south side of the road, near the 10 km sign to Mt Magnet, I walked up the hill and found 3 Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrushes (a male with 2 females). I approached them slowly to obtain good views of the birds feeding on the ground for an hour. Like other quail-thrushes, this species had very high-pitched calls and do run ahead of you if pressed.

Went back up the road to Lake Austin and found 4 Rufous Fieldwrens and White-winged Wrens with fledglings.

At Paynes Find (150km south of Mt Magnet) later on the day, found Redthroats, Slate-backed Thornbill amongst other thornbills, several Ringneck Parrots (Port Lincoln forms) and a pair of Cockatiel.

THURSDAY (29/3) – Paynes Find to Perth via Northam

Drove to Ninghan Station (about 40 km south of Paynes Find) after speaking to the owner Ashley Bell at the Paynes Find Tavern. Like Nallan, the Bell family allows tourists to stay on their property. At Ninghan, it is also mainly mulga, but there is also more open stony areas which may produce Banded Whiteface and Inland Dotterels, though I did not see any there. However I did see a party of 4 Ground Cuckoo-shrikes there. It has been a while since I have seen these and they are truly stunning members of the Cuckoo-shrike family. Saw them feeding on the ground and perching in the mulga trees. Nearby there was a Gould’s Goanna probably taking its first morning stroll as it was early in the morning and the monitor was partly covered in dirt.

In the town of Wubin (153 km south-west of Paynes Find) situated in the mallee and farming area, I saw atleast 100 Western Corellas perched in trees beside the main street.

On my way back to Perth, I stopped at Northam and saw 10 tickable Mute Swans at Apex Park beside the Avon River. I also saw here a good variety of other water birds including 10 Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Great Egrets, Black-fronted Dotterel, Pied Stilts, a Hardhead and a Common Sandpiper. I remember reading about Northam and its aboriginal history in a book called "My Place" written by Sally Morgan which was a very interesting story.

Arrived back in Perth at mid afternoon after travelling about 6000 km.

FRIDAY (30/3) – Johns Forest National Park

Spent part of my second last day in Perth at Johns Forest (about 15 - 20 km east of the CBD. There were 4 Red-tailed Black-cockatoos, Red-capped Parrots, a Western Spinebill and a venomous Western Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus occidentalis). After dusk, saw a Yellow-footed Antechinus (with a nest?) in an old hut near the ranger’s house. What a final surprise!


<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • WA Trip March 2001 Pt E, Vella <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU