Birding tips needed for WA - Perth and Lake Argyle regions in May

To: <>, Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Birding tips needed for WA - Perth and Lake Argyle regions in May
From: John Graff <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 10:50:16 +0800

Hi Harry,
Trying to answer a lot of the queries in your e-mail, please excuse the jumble! 
Copied to B-Aus for the archive too Pelagics - chance of a weekend of Albany 
trips in early May but not confirmed yet. There are none planned out of Perth 
at that time Books - For Perth and the SW, Ron van Delft's guide to Perth 
birding sites is a little dated but still handy and going cheap from BirdLife 
WA office in Perry Lakes/Bold Park. Simon Nevill's guide to Birds of the 
Greater South West also has a lot of useful gen, though for only a few days you 
may not get so much use out of it. Mammals - probably hard to find too many 
reliably in such a short time. Western Grey Kangaroos are easy in the SW, and 
some of the other larger ones like Common Brushtail Possum and Quenda (Southern 
Brown Bandicoot) are relatively easy. Again, if you're keen let me know and I 
can give more info. I can give you plenty of info about birding around Perth, 
please let me know if you have any specific queries. Herdsma
 n should be good at that time of year as many other wetlands are dry. Lake 
Gwelup I would expect to be dry. Victoria Dam is solid any time of the year. 
Wild Emu is difficult close to Perth, Lake McLarty is the best site I know of 
near Perth but the lake will probably be dry so not much else to see down 
there. A friend says he sees them semi-regularly along Canning Rd in the Perth 
hills (not far from Victoria Dam) but he drives the road a lot Further afield 
in the SW, Albany-Cheynes Beach is usually the first spot visitors go to try 
for the big 3, scrub-bird, whipbird and bristlebird. Many of the SW endemics 
are there too, and you can get waterbirds and maybe a few seabirds around 
Albany, and some different bushbirds if you go there or back via the Stirling 
Range. 5hr drive each way at least, so would need a minimum of two days and 
ideally at least 3. If this is a little too far, somewhere like Dryandra 
woodland is an option closer to Perth
I've only been to Kununurra once, so this is based on a single trip (in July). 
Car rentals should be easily available in Kununurra, just check where you're 
allowed to go (e.g. Parry Lagoons is a dirt road). Not sure what the water 
levels will be like at that time of year and what that will do to 
accessibility.- Finches: Easily found Crimson Finch, Star Finch, Double-barred 
Finch and Chestnut-breasted Mannikin at Lily Creek Lagoon in Kununurra in the 
early morning. Lots of Star Finch and a group of Yellow-rumped Mannikin along 
the roads through the irrigation area north of Kununurra. Gouldian Finch were 
at the Culture Park in Wyndham (known site) but it was a dump when we were 
there, full of rubbish- Yellow Chat: We didn't see, but supposed to be at Parry 
Lagoons and some sites on Lake Argyle- Jabiru: Seemed fairly easy at Parry 
Lagoons- White-quilled Rock Pigeon: In Hidden Valley (Mirima) NP in Kununurra 
though we missed it there, seen fairly easily in various gorges on El Qu
 estro Station down the Gibb River Rd but Mirima more easily accessible- 
Spinifex Pigeon: Saw it in open spinifex country along the start of the Gibb 
River Rd. Meant to be reliable at the old Argyle homestead near Lake Argyle but 
we didn't see it there
If I am available when you're here, I'm happy to show you around some places 
near Perth. But I can't confirm my availability until much closer to the time 
As I said, please let me know if you have any other specific queries Cheers,John
> Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2013 20:31:07 +0200
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Birding tips needed for WA - Perth and Lake Argyle     
> regions in May
> Hello from Finland,
> According to the most recent project schedule it seems that I will be
> working in WA in May. And I will be coming with my trusted colleague and
> mate, Markku, of course. Although May is still 3 months away, I'm already
> making plans and arrangements for our trip. Time goes by really fast when
> you least expect it...
> About our trip: We will first fly to Perth in the end of April and stay
> there for 2 days (rent a car, do as much birding as possible etc.). From
> there we will fly to Argyle airport just south of Lake Argyle. There we
> will have a 3-day induction training to our site, which is the Argyle mine,
> where we will be working as functional safety specialists for the next 3-4
> weeks. If we need to wait for our medical results, we will probably return
> to Perth for a few days after the induction, but otherwise we will stay the
> rest of our journey in the Southern end of Lake Argyle. According to the
> most recent roster, we will be working almost every day for the first 2
> weeks, but we will have a 4-day "rest" after the 2 weeks of work, which
> means we will be trying to do some heavy duty birding in the area.
> To my knowledge, we won't be having a car to our use on daily basis, which
> means that the hours after work will be spent walking around the area. But
> for the 4-days off period we will try to get a car from e.g. Kununurra (are
> there any rentals available?) and try to find our way at least around
> Kununurra, Wyndham and hopefully up North towards Darwin and Kakadu NP. If
> needed, we will sleep in our car to make the most of it.
> Now that our trip is somewhat out in the open, I would appreciate every bit
> of help regarding our stay in WA. The most important question of all being:
> Where to go birding? Other interesting topics include: people to contact,
> books to read, which birds are a must to find (and where), which places to
> avoid, what kinds of conditions to expect (weather etc.), any pelagics to
> keep in mind in WA, which mammals are a must to find etc.
> Here's what I've gathered for good places to go birding after reading a few
> blogs (Tim Dolby's blog, Leeuwin Current Birding, A Perth Bird Diary, WA
> Zoologist, Life of Allan etc).
> Perth:
> -Herdsman Lake (species?)
> -Lake Gwelup (species?)
> -Victoria Dam/Reservoir (most endemics are possible)
> -an Emu from anywhere around Perth (this time I want to find one)
> If we have additional days in Perth:
> -Dryandra State Forest (Bush Stone-curlew, Tawny-crowned HE, Red-capped
> Parrot etc.)
> -2 Peoples Bay (Elegant Parrot, Noisy Scrub-bird, Western Bristlebird,
> Western Whipbird etc.)
> -Rocky Gully (Western Corella?)
> Lake Argyle-Kununurra-Wyndham:
> -any Finches
> -Yellow Chat
> -Jabiru
> -White-quilled Rock Pigeon
> -Spinifex Pigeon?
> -a lot more...
> Top End (Darwin-Kakadu NP):
> -too many to mention
> And if someone would like to show a couple of foreign birders around Perth,
> that would of course be the ideal situation. Especially taking our lack of
> expertise in Australian bird sounds into consideration (although I will try
> to change that before May).
> The problem with the NNW and N parts of our trip is that we have no idea if
> we will manage to get a car and if we even stay the 4 days there or are we
> forced to return to Perth. We have no idea about the places to go, so all
> tips, trip reports, contacts etc. would be greatly appreciated. And if
> someone comes up with a realistic plan for a 4-day birding trip (assuming
> we will get the car, preferrably a 4WD) in the NNW-N regions of Australia
> for us (starting from Kununurra), I would very much like to discuss it.
> And a little disclaimer in the end: The project schedule is subject to
> change if anything goes wrong (not on our side), which means that the tasks
> and the duration of the visit are always the same, but the actual dates
> on-site may shift. I'll keep you posted if the schedule changes drastically.
> Cheers,
> -Harry
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