Report on SW Western Australia birding

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Report on SW Western Australia birding
From: "Crispin Marsh" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 18:52:24 +1100
Dear Birders,
My wife and I have just returned from a trip around the South West of Western 
Australia guided by Phil Maher and running from 27 Feb 2007 to 6 March 2007. We 
saw all of the SW Western Australian endemics as well as a couple of birds that 
could possibly be split in the future. We were fortunate to enjoy very 
reasonable weather with one quite windy day and one very hot day.

We started in Perth and headed first to Bickley Brook  which is only a few Km 
South East of the city. Initially we birded off Masonmill Road on the Eastern 
side of the Brook and then beside the Bickley Brook Reservoir on the Western 
side. This proved to be a wonderfully birdy area producing among the endemics 
Western Spinebill, Western Rosella, Red Capped Parrot,Western Thornbill, Red 
Winged Fairy Wren, and Red-eared Firetail. The possible split Little Wattlebird 
was also first seen here. Wungong Gorge additionally produced White Breasted 
Robin later that day.

The Dryandra forest produced Rufous Treecreeper, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, and 
Western Yellow Robin over the next day and a half under generally very windy 
conditions. We twice came upon the very attractive Numbat. On one occasion it 
was collecting dried Dryandra flowers and carrying them back to its nest.

We then drove on to the Sterling Ranges where we picked up the short-billed 

The anticipation was now mounting as we approached the home territory of the 
three skulkers, Western Whipbird, Western Bristlebird and Noisy Scrub-bird. The 
first two were found quite quickly by Phil on a back road a bit out of Two 
People's Bay but the Noisy Scrub-bird resisted all attempts at location in this 

A pelagic trip out of Albany has been already been reported on by Frank 
O'Connor. Fortunately the wind had dropped by then making for a very pleasant 

It was then back to searching for the Scrub-bird and Wychinicup National Park 
delivered with perseverance. Phil somehow coaxed the bird to run across a 
clearing a few meters in front of the group of 6 not just once but twice! The 
second time so close that the bird almost crossed our toes.That afternoon we 
went back to Two Peoples Bay to find the Rock Parrot. A small flock were 
located a short distance along the beach and showed very nicely.

We then headed for Augusta along an inland route taking us through Rocky Gully. 
This seems to be the centre of a very small area in which the southern race of 
the Western Corella may be found.We also found our first small group of 
Long-billed Black-cockatoos hear Rocky Creek. Heading into Augusta we found the 
Western race of the Crested Shrike-tit in tall Karri trees and had a brief view 
here. The next day we saw a pair of Shrike-tit very well in the car park of the 
Jewel Cave just north of Augusta.

This report has only mentioned the endemics and possible endemics but there was 
a lot of very god birding between those species. In all 135 species were seen 
during the trip with Phil and a couple of days birding thereafter.

Many thanks to Phil and Trish Maher who ran a wonderful trip and our 
co-travellers who made great company.

Peter Marsh

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