We know that a few people have done this trek over the last month or so,
but we'd like to share some of our highlights of the trip (apart from the
Black-tailed Gull and the Grey Falcon previously reported).
We headed north on the North West Coastal Hwy stopping overnight in Shark
Bay, Karratha and Port Hedland, and headed back via the Great Northern Hwy,
overnighting in Meekatharra and Paynes Find. All new birding territory for
the both of us.
Some highlights were (not an exhaustive trip list, and several species seen
at a number of different locations):
BLUE-BREASTED FAIRY-WREN at the Murchison River Crossing near Kalbarri NP.
A great random stop about 2km north of Billabong Roadhouse produced CRIMSON
CHAT, CHIMING WEDGEBILL (these two common along the route north), DUSKY
WOODSWALLOW, SPINY-CHEEKED HONEYEATER, CRESTED BELLBIRD, SPLENDID
FAIRY-WREN, RED-CAPPED ROBIN and WHITE-WINGED TRILLER.
THICK-BILLED GRASSWREN, SOUTHERN SCRUB-ROBIN and WHITE-BROWED BABBLER at
Monkey Mia. We tried the Thomas and Thomas Little Lagoon site just outside
of Denham for the grasswren and I managed only the briefest view of one
bird. However, the birds were unbelievably tame in the dunes next to the
Monkey Mia carpark (thanks for the tip Frank). We saw about 10 birds in
total and had very close encounters with some of them. It seems that it is
not only the dolphins that are tame at Monkey Mia, and the Scrub-robin and
babblers were very approachable too. We would recommend anyone after the
species to head to Monkey Mia first off.
HOODED ROBIN, WHITE-WINGED FAIRY-WREN and HORSFIELD'S BRONZE-CUCKOO at
Fowler's Camp Rd, Shark Bay.
PIED HONEYEATER, BROWN SONGLARK and a LITTLE EAGLE at a nest, all north of
STAR FINCH along the esplanade in Dampier.
MANGROVE GOLDEN WHISTLER and MANGROVE GREY FANTAIL at Point Samson between
Karratha and Port Hedland.
PAINTED FINCH, SPINIFEXBIRD, SPINIFEX PIGEON and RED-BACKED KINGFISHER at
WHITE-BREASTED WHISTLER (females only), DUSKY GERYGONE and YELLOW WHITE-EYE
around Port Hedland.
SPINIFEX PIGEON at the Newman Caravan Park.
RED-BROWED PARDALOTE, LITTLE WOODSWALLOW, STAR FINCH and WHITE-BROWED
BABBLER (rubecula) along a dry creek bed on the road into Opthalmia Dam,
outside of Newman.
A flock of about 50 BUDGERIGARS being harassed by an AUST HOBBY, BROWN
FALCON and WHISTLING KITE just north of Munjina.
WESTERN BOWERBIRD at various sites from Karijini National Park south to
around Paynes Find.
GREY-HEADED HONEYEATER in Karijini National Park.
REDTHROAT, MULGA PARROT, DIAMOND DOVE and SLATY-BACKED THORNBILL around the
RUFOUS FIELDWREN at Lake Austin.
BANDED LAPWING between Paynes Find and Wubin.
A flock of about 50 WESTERN CORELLA digging up an oval at Miling.
Good times. Thanks to all who provided tips and advice before we set off.
Cheers, Pete Kyne (Brisbane) and Claire Bartron (Perth).
Peter M. Kyne
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology
University of Queensland
St Lucia 4072 QLD
Ph: (07) 3365 2720 or 3365 2944
Fax: (07) 3365 1299
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