Tropicbirds in Perth

To: birdswa email list <>
Subject: Tropicbirds in Perth
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2009 19:18:58 +0800

Some amazing sightings of tropicbirds close to Perth over the past month.

First, Robyn Pickering reported that she had photographed a Red-tailed Tropicbird over Thomsons Lake in the southern suburbs on the 25th November.

Second, I got a third hand report of one being photographed over Herdsman Lake just to the NW of the city. I tracked this down and the photograph was sent to me. It was seen and photographed by Guillaume Bouteloup amazingly on the same day 25th November.

I was in the Birds Australia WA office today, and Hank van Wees had reported seeing a Red-tailed Tropicbird at Herdsman Lake on 1st December. He had not known of the first sighting there. I phoned Hank and found out where he had seen it. So I went there today (4th December), and after twenty minutes I saw it flying over the lake. The site is the same as where the Black-tailed Native-hen is, on the east side of Herdsman Lake near the corner of Jon Sanders Drive and Herdsman Parade where the new children's playground is (off Herdsman Parade).

You may have seen Ben Allen's query about a White-tailed Tropicbird being photographed at Rottnest Island. He chased down the Subiaco Post local newspaper, scanned the article and sent it to me. Sure enough, it was a White-tailed Tropicbird seen over the settlement at Rottnest and photographed by Michael Sinclair-Jones. I am still trying to confirm the date for this sighting, but it would have been in the second half of November I think. This is the furthest south this species has been seen in WA as far as I know. I saw one about 10 years ago over the sewage ponds in Exmouth.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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