Re: RFI - Broom and the Kimberley's

Subject: Re: RFI - Broom and the Kimberley's
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 03:01:34 +0800

> I'm heading to Broome in Late-June for 10 days, and i'm trying
> to plan an itinerary to make the best of my time and see (and
> hopefully photograph) most of the specialties of that area of the
> world. I've researched around the Broome/Derby area, but i'd
> like to hear of some of the must go sites in Broome, the
> Kimberley's, and areas outside Broome that produce species
> that cant be seen around town, and also places that might
> prove good for photography?

Ricki Couglan has already given some details.

For photography I recommend the BBO grounds, Crab Creek mangroves, Town mangroves, Barred Creek, Derby sewage ponds, Derby wharf area (especially boat ramp about 500 metres to the left).

> I'm not sure if i'll be able to make it up to the Mitchell plateau,
> but would love to see Black Grasswren.  Is there any sites in
> the west kimberleys that are fairly reliable?

Nowhere close to Broome or Derby for Black Grasswren.  Small chance at Manning Gorge.  Otherwise further along and mainly up the Mitchell Plateau road.

> I'm also after sites for Purple-Crowned Fairy Wren, Pictorella
> Mannikin, Painted Finch, Grey-Headed/Grey-Fronted Honeyeater,
> Yellow Chat, Yellow Wagtail, Red-browed Pardolote, all the local
> pigeons and doves (spinifex pigeon),  Black Breasted Buzzard,
> Letter Winged Kite, and Ground Cuckoo-shrike.

Purple-crowned Fairy-wren is a chance at Geikie Gorge and near the Fitzroy Lodge.

Pictorella Mannikin is a chance along the road into Geikie Gorge.

Painted Finch is an irregular visitor to Broome but there are some there at present.  Also try borrow pit just west of Fitzroy Crossing (south side of highway).  Flock Bronzewing is a small chance here and on the grass plain to the west.

The Ngumbin Jumpup is an excellent site for Painted Finch and Spinifex Pigeon, but I can't remember whether this is west or east of Fitzroy Crossing.  As you head east, you climb up an obvious ridge.  At the top there is a track to the left which leads to a quarry.  The quarry has water in the bottom where the birds come to drink.  Grey-fronted Honeyeater is a chance here also.

Grey-headed Honeyeater is a chance near the Broome port in the coastal vegetation.  Used to be fairly easy to find, but much harder these days but there are still a few around.

The BBO will show you Yellow Chat.

Red-browed Pardalote can be found in eucalypt woodland between Broome and Derby.  One reliable spot is 20km south of Derby.  Very close to the 20km sign there is a gate to the left (west).  The pardalotes can usually be found within 200 metres or so of the gate.

Flock Bronzewing is a small chance at Lake Eda.  The BBO may be able to show you out there.  Or George Swann or Chris Hassell could take you there on a tour.  Black-breasted Buzzard is a fair chance near Lake Eda (and more so near Taylor's Lagoon).

Letter-winged Kite is a very irregular visitor to Broome.  I have seen it twice along the Malurus trail at the back of the BBO, but in October.

Ground Cuckoo-shrike would be very unlikely but could be a chance west of Fitzroy Crossing.  I have seen it once between Derby and Windjana Gorge.

All the best

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
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