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Southwest Australia: Endemics and Seabirds, July 26 to August 9, 2006,
The following is an account of my recent visit to Southwest Australia from Hong Kong where I am currently living. My idea was to have a relatively leisurely and comfortable birding holiday, enjoying the birds in general but focussing on the endemic species, seabirds and whales in a part of Australia I had never visited before. Not wishing to travel great distances, I deliberately limited the area I covered, so went no further east than the Fitzgerald River bridge and did not go north of Perth.
Winter is perhaps not the best time to birdwatch in Southwest Australia - there are reduced hours of daylight, the weather can be bad and a number of species are not present. However, all of the endemics are resident and winter is a good time for land-based seawatching. Also, Humpback and Southern Right Whales are more or less guaranteed off the coast near Albany and Augusta.
Birding in Southwest Australia is relatively easy and straightforward. The following brief comments may be useful:
Driving: - There are plenty of car hire places in Perth. I pre-booked a car over the Internet with Avis at Perth airport. Avis allow unlimited mileage; surprisingly many companies don’t seem to offer this. Avis also provide a very detailed street directory of Perth & environs (extends down to Mandurah & Wungong Gorge) in the glove compartment of the hire car.
Outside of Perth the roads are pretty quiet and the driving is easy. Observe the speed limits as there are speed cameras and efficient traffic police here and there. Potential hazards are kangaroos – I saw plenty of roadkills!
Accommodation: - I pre-booked a room in Perth for three nights – there are often good offers on the Internet; the further you book in advance, the better the benefits. Outside of Perth, I stayed in good motels, none of which I booked in advance. I did, however, make sure that my visit didn’t coincide with the school holidays – a simple Google search will turn up school term dates.
The only problem I had was in Jerramungup. The place to stay there is the Barrett’s as they have Malleefowl on their property (see Frank O’Connor’s website for details). However, they were full when I arrived so I was unable to stay there. In retrospect, I would have tried to book in advance (although, as it happened, I was told that the same people had been staying there for a month, so there would have been no room available anyway!) There were also For Sale signs around the property, so how long it will remain a Bed & Breakfast place is open to question.
Weather: - In winter, temperatures can vary throughout the day from c. 5° Celsius at dawn to c. 20° Celsius in the early afternoon. Therefore, the important thing is to wear layers of clothing. There were days when I was in hard-weather gear, including gloves, for seawatching and a few hours later I would be down to a T-shirt. Many mornings were bright and sunny, although there was a tendency for it to cloud over and sometimes rain in the afternoon. There were gales at the beginning and end of my stay – which limited general birding, but was good for seawatching. Care needs to be taken at the coast during such conditions, however; an American tourist was swept from the rocks and drowned near Dunsborough while I was there.
There are currently considered to be sixteen endemic species in Southwest Western Australia as follows: Short-billed Black Cockatoo, Long-billed Black Cockatoo, Western Corella, Red-capped Parrot, Western Rosella, Noisy Scrub-bird, Red-winged Fairy-wren, Western Bristlebird, Western Fieldwren (split from Rufous Fieldwren), Western Thornbill, Western Wattlebird (split from Little Wattlebird), Western Spinebill, Western Whipbird, White-breasted Robin, Western Shrike-tit (split from Eastern Shrike-tit and Northern Shrike-tit), Red-eared Firetail.
(Two further endemics occur north of Perth: Black Grasswren and Dusky Gerygone.)
In addition, the following are near-endemics confined to Southwest Australia and southern South Australia that the visiting bird would hope to see: Rufous Treecreeper, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren and Western Yellow Robin.
I saw most of these, but failed to connect with Western Fieldwren, Western Shrike-tit and Red-eared Firetail. In addition I only heard Western Whipbird.
Other passerines that eluded me, in spite of my searching, were a number of heathland species, namely Southern Emu-wren, Shy Heathwren and Southern Scrub-robin, and I was also surprised not to come across Brown-headed Honeyeater.
In addition to the endemics, one of the draws for me of visiting Southwest Australia in the austral winter was the potential for seawatching. Frank O’Connor arranges pelagic trips from Perth a couple of times each winter. Unfortunately, the dates of my visit did not coincide with a pelagic (which need to be booked well in advance). However, I did make time to do some seawatching from Bathurst Point on Rottnest Island, Point Peron, Albany, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste, as well as taking a whale-watching trip from Augusta. Between them, these sites provided me with my three target albatross species, as well as a number of other good seabirds, including unexpected numbers of Hutton’s Shearwaters at Cape Naturaliste.
Slater, P., Slater, L & Slater, R. The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, 2005.
These are the four field guides currently available. I have older versions of the Pizzey (1980) and the Slater (1986) books from previous visits to Australia in 1988 and 1992. For my current trip I used the new edition of Simpson & Day (which seems to be the most-favoured guide), but I also took and used (a little) the old Slater as I like the simple, uncluttered plates.
There is also a wealth of other material that is useful for pre-trip and post-trip reference. Of these, the multi-volume Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds is clearly of great importance (although I only have Volume 1 on the seabirds) as is Handbook of Birds of the World. Other books I referred to before and after my trip were:
Reader’s Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds, 1990.
A coffee-table book with good summaries and excellent photographs of virtually all the bird species in Australia. I bought this when I last visited Australia in 1992.
Shirihai, H. A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife, 2002.
A beautiful book, excellent for seabirds and marine mammals that occur in Australasia.
To help me with any mammal or reptile sightings, I used A Photographic Guide to Mammals of Australia by Ronald Strahan, and A Photographic Guide to Snakes & Other Reptiles of Australia by Gerry Swan. These are light and useful but far from comprehensive.
The most important sources of site information are on the Internet.
http://members.iinet.com.au/~foconnor/ . This is Frank O’ Connor’s Birding Western Australia website and has lots of indispensable information about the birds of Western Australia, including detailed accounts of all the major birdwatching sites and the birds to be expected there. I printed out the details for all of the sites I was going to visit and used them extensively in the field.
http://birdswa.iinet.net.au/ . This is the Bird Australia Western Australia website. The site has a number of guides, including maps, to various birding locations in the state. The guides are not very detailed but are still useful.
http://www.birdsofperth.com/ . Birds of Perth site giving brief details of good birding sites within the city area.
Bransbury, J. Where to Find Birds in Australia, 1987. Provides a useful, general overview of the key sites but far less specific than Frank O’Connor’s website. Also a little dated now.
Thomas, R & Thomas, S. The Complete Guide to finding the Birds of Australia, 1996.
Includes seven pages on Southwest Australia, covering the major sites for the endemics.
Gardner, R. Southwest Australia, South of Perth, September 25-October 3, 1999.
Cooper, D & Kay, B. Western Australia, 9th December 1999 to 11th January 2000.
A comprehensive report, covering Esperance and areas to the north of Perth in addition to the main areas in the southwest. The Systematic List is especially well-detailed.
Vermeulen, Jan Trip Report to South-Western Australia, (November 2000).
Another very useful, detailed report, indebted to and covering much the same area as David Cooper and Brenda Kay.
Thomas, Julian Western Australia, 8th-21st March 2005
The most recent trip report available. Unfortunately, I didn’t come across this until my return from Australia. Very detailed with a good section on travel and accommodation.
The various maps in Lonely Planet: Western Australia are useful.
Hema publish Hema Maps:Perth and Region which consists of a Scale 1:80 000 map of Perth (with an inset map of the city centre at Scale 1:15 000) and a Scale 1:750 000 map of the Southwestern region. This includes the Stirling Range and Albany but does not extend as far east as Jerramungup and the Fitzgerald River. However, you could make do with this map and the odd download from the Internet. This map is available in the UK from MapsWorldwide (http://www.mapsworldwide.com/). Another Hema map is South West Western Australia which covers a little more of the region (extending to Jerramungup – just) than the aforementioned, but lacks the useful Perth city map.
UBD produce a guide to Perth called 2006 Perth and Surrounds Street Directory and this is the guide that Frank O’Connor uses as a reference on his website. I bought it beforehand from Guides Galore (www.guidesgalore.com.au) but it is heavy, expensive and perhaps too-comprehensive for the visiting birder, although I found it very useful. However, Avis provide a similar guide in the glove compartment of their hire cars.
SONGS AND CALLS
Stewart, D. Australian Bird Calls: South-western, 2005.
This CD, available from WildSounds (www.wildsounds.co.uk), includes all of the Southwestern endemics.
Lonely Planet:Western Australia, 2004.
Day 1 26/7/06 Hong Kong to Perth: Lake Monger – Herdsman Lake – Kings Park
Day2 27/7/06 Rottnest Island
Day3 28/7/06 Point Peron – Alcoa Wellard Wetlands – the Spectacles – Perry Lakes – Lake Monger
Day 4 29/7/06 Wungong Gorge - Bungendore Park – Dryandra State Forest
Day 5 30/7/06 Dryandra State Forest
Day 6 31/7/06 Foxes Lair, Narrogin – Brown South Road, Jerramungup - Quiss Rd, Fitzgerald River NP
Day 7 1/8/06 Fitzgerald River bridge – Waychinicup – Cheynes Beach
Day 8 2/8/06 Little Beach, Two People’s Bay – Sinker Reef – the Gap, Albany
Day 9 3/8/06 Little Beach – Cheynes Beach Rd - Waychinicup – Lake Seppings – Emu Point - the Gap
Day 10 4/8/06 Stirling Range NP
Day 11 5/8/06 Lake Muir – Hamelin Bay – Cape Leeuwin
Day 12 6/8/06 Blackwood River, Augusta – Flinders Bay (whale trip) – Cape Leeuwin
Day 13 7/8/06 Boranup Forest – Gracetown – Cape Naturaliste
Day 14 8/8/06 Cape Naturaliste – Pinjarra – Lake McLarty – Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, Perth
Day 15 9/8/06 Perth to Hong Kong
Wednesday 26th July
I arrived at Perth just gone dawn after an overnight flight from Hong Kong, picked up the car I had booked from Avis and eventually found my way to the southwest corner of Lake Monger. The lake held a good variety of waterfowl, including 160 Pink-eared Ducks and 220 Blue-billed Ducks. The highlight for me, however, were the two Australian Hobbys, one being dive-bombed by the other as it perched at the top of a very tall tree.
I then drove to the nearby Herdsman Lake and explored the areas of Maurice Hamer Park South and Maurice Hamer Park West from 11.40 – 13.50hrs, adding a few more interesting waterbirds such as Glossy Ibis, Australian White Ibis and Yellow-billed Spoonbill to the list.
After this, I made my way to Sullivan’s Hotel (A$104 a night), conveniently located near Kings Park and the Kwinana Freeway, which was to be my base for three nights. After a brief rest, I explored the Botanical Gardens in Kings Park for the last hour of daylight. However, the number of species I saw was limited and the only bird I added to the day’s sightings was a single Common Bronzewing.
Thursday 27th July
At 7.50hrs I walked through John Oldham Park opposite my hotel en route to Barrack’s Jetty on the Swan River to get a ferry to Rottnest Island. This small park, hemmed in by heavily used roads, proved very good. There was a Nankeen Night Heron in the trees (the only one of the trip) and a few Little Pied Cormorants nesting in bushes in one corner of the pond, as well as other waterbirds.
At the jetty I made the mistake of booking a ticket with Ocean Cruises. This company takes you up the Swan River to Fremantle on a fast ferry and then you have to change to a seacat to complete the journey to the island. The seacat is an enclosed boat and is therefore useless for seawatching. I should have taken the Boat Torque ferry, which goes directly from the jetty to Rottnest and has open decks to watch from.
We left Perth in bright sunshine, but the weather had turned before we arrived at Fremantle, becoming cold and grey. Strong winds and showers persisted throughout the day, making birding uncomfortable.
Once on Rottnest, I basically followed Frank O’Connor’s itinerary, walking to the causeway, then birding the golf course before going to the Basin and Bathurst Point. In spite of the weather, the golf course was productive, providing good numbers of Banded Lapwings and White-fronted Chats, and I eventually managed to find a pair of attractive Red-capped Robins. I seawatched from the shelter of the lighthouse at Bathurst Point from 13.30-15.10hrs. The bad weather seemed to have a positive effect; apart from 10 Australian Gannets fishing offshore, I saw 5 Great-winged Petrels and a Brown Skua moving west past the point.
Around the settlement and the golf course, the introduced Common Pheasants and Indian Peafowls were easy to find, but of more interest were the Quokkas – rodent-like marsupials that are very common on the island.
Friday 28th July
I left Perth before dawn and began birding from Point Peron at 7.30hrs. It was cold but bright and it was to remain mainly sunny during the day until late afternoon. I only spent an hour seawatching as, although there were good numbers of Pied Cormorants, Silver Gulls and Crested Terns off the point, there was little evidence of seabird movement apart from four Australian Gannets.
From Point Peron, I drove to the Alcoa Wellard Wetlands and birded there from 9.15-12.45hrs. [Note: The wetlands are on Map 468 in the UBD Street Directory. Access is off the Kwinana Freeway at Mounding Road. Drive east along Mounding Road, then turn right into St Albans Road and then right into what is called Bertenshaw Road in the guide but is referred to by Frank O’Connor (and a sign near the pools along Mounding Road) as Zig Zag Road. In the guide Zig Zag Road is actually shown as being on the other side of the freeway to Bertenshaw Road. The entrance to the wetlands proper is on the right just before Cobby Lane.]
The paddocks along St Albans Road and the wetland reserve itself were very birdy. There was plenty of activity in the woodland at the entrance to the reserve and I spent quite some time there coming to grips with the birds calling and feeding in the trees. The woodland also gave me my first endemic of the trip, namely Red-capped Parrot. The highlight of the day, however, was the Wedge-tailed Eagle that swooped down onto one of the paddocks, scattering the hundreds of Australian White and Straw-necked Ibises that were feeding there as it pinned an Australian Shelduck to the ground. A little while later, the eagle for some reason flew up into the air, abandoning its prey. The shelduck followed suit and flew away seemingly unscathed. Other good birds in the paddock area were a Sacred Kingfisher, unexpected in winter, and a single White-backed Swallow feeding with the Welcome Swallows and Tree Martins.
On leaving the wetlands, I drove a little way north along the Kwinana Freeway to the Spectacles Wetlands (Map 428 in the UBD guide). This area is not mentioned by Frank O’Connor but is referred to in the Birds Australia Western Australia bird guide pamphlet number 60a entitled Birdwatching South of Perth, mainly for its paperbark swamps that hold Nankeen Night Heron and Freckled Duck. I entered the area from McLaughlan Road (car park not marked in the UBD guide but obvious along the road) and followed the trail from an information board through the paperbark swamp to a bird hide (where there were no birds visible) and I also did a short part of the Banksia Walk. The banksias were in flower, attracting Red-capped Parrots and a number of honeyeaters, including a pair of endemic Western Spinebills. Three Western Wattlebirds gave me my third endemic for the day and a pair of Scarlet Robins were another welcome addition to the list.
I drove back along the freeway to Perth and at Perry Lakes found a party of two Long-billed Corellas and 26 Little Corellas, although puzzlingly many of the latter had reddish marks on their breasts contra Simpson & Day. At 15.50hrs it began to rain heavily, curtailing my walk in Bold Park, so I drove to Lake Monger and waited for the rain to stop. Once it did at 16.30hrs I walked along the southwest corner of the lake and found three White-cheeked Honeyeaters, my final new bird for the day.
Saturday 29th July
At 7.30hrs I was driving along Admiral Road near the entrance to Bungendore Park when I saw my first Laughing Kookaburras of the trip and also had excellent views of a Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo on the ground by the side of the road.
I then drove to the car park at Wungong Gorge. The lawn area was very quiet, so I climbed up the slope and headed left along the forest track. Where several tracks converged above some open meadows, I took the one leading downhill towards a creek. Two or three dead trees on the hillside were presumably the remains of the orchard mentioned on Frank O’Connor’s website. The creekside is purportedly a good site for Red-eared Firetail, Red-winged Fairy-wren and White-breasted Robin but my search drew a blank. My disappointment was relieved by a flock of 300 Long-billed Black-Cockatoos above the “orchard”, as well as sightings of Western Rosella, Red-capped Parrot, Fan-tailed Cuckoo and Golden Whistler. A brief foray into Bungendore Park on my way back to the highway produced three Western Thornbills, as well as a further Red-capped Parrot, four more Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos and four Western Spinebills.
I continued south to Dryandra State Forest and, after picking up a couple of maps from the helpful lady at the caretaker cottage, I began birding around the Old Mill Dam area at 14.00hrs. Under grey skies and a chill wind, the area appeared rather birdless but I eventually turned up a few good birds including two Western Rosellas, four Rufous Treecreepers and five Dusky Woodswallows. Later in the afternoon I pottered around the Arboretum, which was birdier than the Old Mill Dam, the highlights being a Bush Stone-curlew, four Varied Sittellas, three Blue-breasted Fairy-wrens, a Western Thornbill and a male Red-capped Robin. A Short-beaked Echidna feeding a few feet from me was an additional surprise. I finished off with a short walk along the Ochre Trail, finding another Rufous Treecreeper and a party of four Blue-breasted Fairy-wrens, this time including a breeding plumage male. I spent the night at the friendly Albert Facey Motor Inn in Narrogin (A$85 a night).
Sunday 30th July
A full day’s birding at Dryandra State Forest, with the morning being more productive than the afternoon. I began by exploring the heathland and the area around Lol Grey Lookout along Kawana Road east of the Wandering-Narrogin Road. I saw eight species of Honeyeater, three of which were new for the trip (White-eared, White-naped and Tawny-crowned.) I then drove to Dryandra Road and stopped 200 metres down near a new shelter opposite the casuarinas mentioned by Frank O’Connor. I explored the forest on the left-hand side of the road and found two Jacky Winters and two Elegant Parrots. I then drove along Tomingley Road and explored Weirah Road and the Ochre Trail and the Arboretum again. The latter sites yielded nothing new but at the top of Weirah Road I found four Short-billed Black Cockatoos.
At 13.00hrs I explored the mallet plantation on Patonga Road. I walked the south side of the road as far as the paddock and came up with nothing. Things improved when I walked back to the car through the trees on the northern side and disturbed three Painted Button-quails and a Numbat. After this, I drove to Congelin Dam, then back along Marri Road and Gura Road. My final good bird of the day, which had so far eluded me in spite of much searching, was a Western Yellow Robin, which I found along Marri Road.
Monday 31st July
I visited Foxes Lair near my motel at dawn and watched a flock of 40+ Short-billed Black Cockatoos feeding in the trees. The site is well-known for this species. After breakfast, I drove three hours to Jerramungup and spent an hour birding the small woodland on Brown South Road. This proved to be very good and I quickly saw three new species for the trip – Purple-crowned Lorikeet, White-browed Babbler and Striated Pardalote, as well as further Red-capped Parrots and Dusky Woodswallows. I then drove to Barrett’s Farm but there were no vacancies and Trevor Barrett was not around to advise me on sites for Malleefowl.
By now it was very windy and grey rain clouds were gathering. Also acre upon acre of the mallee heath along Quiss Road consisted of blackened stumps, evidence of a recent intense bushfire. I drove to the fee-paying station and walked up and down the road but with the wind there were very few birds to be seen. I eventually gave up and drove back in the rain to Jerramungup where the other B&B place had no vacancies and the only room available – and the last one at that - was at the rather unpleasant Jerramungup Motel (A$50 for a single). The low point of the trip.
Tuesday 1st August
I was at the Fitzgerald River bridge for dawn but there was no sign of any Western Whipbirds. Parties of Purple-crowned Lorikeets flying overhead and three Purple-gaped Honeyeaters were the most interesting birds I encountered. There was also a tame Fox, which followed me around for a while like a pet dog. I drove to the fee- paying station along Quiss Road again, but the heath was as bleak as on the previous day. I was sitting in my car just before leaving when a Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo began calling from a bush just across the road. I got fine views of the cuckoo and then a Western Whipbird started singing close to the road. Unfortunately, the bird remained invisible in the vegetation and I waited for half an hour after the bird had ceased calling but there was no further sign of it.
I cut my losses and headed towards Albany. I drove into Waychinicup NR – there was no problem in driving in with a 2WD car – and found the Noisy Scrub-bird site mentioned by Frank O’Connor. However, by now it was afternoon and there was no sight or sound of the bird. I did, however, have a male Red-winged Fairy-wren hopping around tamely at my feet. I drove back to Cheynes Beach Road, stopping now and then, and found a White-breasted Robin in the Creek Crossing area.
I drove to Cheynes Beach and found a couple of Brush Bronzewings near the caravan park. And offshore, at the road’s end, there were Australian Gannets and Great-winged Petrels in evidence, but best were the three Humpback Whales, blowing and lobtailing as they headed slowly west.
I spent the next three nights at the comfortable Metro Motel in Albany (A$70 a night).
Wednesday 2nd August
I arrived at Little Beach car park in Two People’s Bay NR just after dawn. At 7.30hrs one Western Bristlebird ran quickly across the road, followed five minutes later by another. I then walked to the Noisy Scrub-bird site recommended by Frank O’Connor and spent over two hours following a continuously singing male up and down its territory during which time I managed to see it cross the narrow track twice.
I then did the walk to Sinker Reef and saw Red-capped Parrots and Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters, but the best birds were the eight Rock Parrots scattered singly or in pairs along the firebreaks towards the coast.
From 15.40-17.00hrs I seawatched at the Gap and saw 200+ Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, two Shy Albatrosses and a Southern Great Petrel.
Thursday 3rd August
I again went to Little Beach car park and saw one Western Bristlebird fly low across the road at 8.00hrs. A Noisy Scrub-bird and a White-browed Scrubwren were also singing at the car park.
From Little Beach I drove back to the end of Two People’s Bay Road, turned right and took the first right again along a road, which took me to the South Coast Highway. At the junction with the highway, 100+ Short-billed Black-Cockatoos were drinking from roadside puddles and feeding in the adjacent pine trees. Not much later, along Cheynes Beach Road, I came across another flock of 200 black-cockatoos feeding in eucalyptus trees, but this time they were Long-billed Black-Cockatoos. I scoped both of the flocks carefully and was glad to put to rest the doubts I had been having about the separation of these two species.
I drove down Cheynes Beach Road to Power Pole 102 and walked for a while, but the heathland species I was searching for were not forthcoming, the only bird of note being a White-cheeked Honeyeater. It was the same with the heathland along the Waychinicup track.
I left the area at 12.00hrs and headed back to Albany where I made a brief stop at Lake Seppings (a handful of waterfowl only) and Emu Point (14 Caspian and 29 Crested Terns) before driving to the Gap. There were a large number of Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses offshore again but the only other seabirds of note were c.65 distant small shearwaters, either Little or Hutton’s.
Friday 4th August
I left Albany at 5.30hrs and arrived at Stirling Range NP at dawn. I walked along Bluff Knoll Road for a while, then birded the picnic area before walking along the fence to Ongarup Creek. The special heathland species again eluded me. There were some good birds – four Short-billed Black-Cockatoos, 30+ Purple-crowned Lorikeets, six Red-capped Parrots, three Elegant Parrots, 10 Western Thornbills, three Western Spinebills and five Scarlet Robins – but nothing new for the trip apart from a Brown Falcon. Three Wedge-tailed Eagles soaring directly over my head were also an impressive sight.
In the afternoon, I drove along Salt River Road looking for Emus and eventually found two in the heathland near the shore of Camel Lake. I then made my way to Mount Barker and overnighted at the excellent Valley View Motel (A$69 per night).
Saturday 5th August
I treated myself to the luxury of a cooked breakfast before heading west through heavy mist along the Muir Highway towards Augusta. By the time I got to Lake Muir the mist had more or less cleared. Lake Muir is the site for Western Corella and even before I reached the lake I had seen five of these endemic birds along the highway (c.88 km from Mt Barker) along with a flock of 60 Long-billed Black-Cockatoos.
The observation point over Lake Muir is very close to the highway and is clearly signposted. I looked from the boardwalk – it was like looking over a saltmarsh and mudflats at low tide, but there were no birds visible except for eight Australian Shelducks. However, eight more Western Corellas flew over the car park. I continued driving and took the first left off the highway along Thomson Road as suggested by Rod Gardner in his trip report. The paddocks on the left were quiet, but the forest held a further ten, very raucous Western Corellas. I scoped them well in the treetops.
Further west (118 km from Mt Barker) I came across a further 30 Long-billed Black-Cockatoos.
A brief stop at Hamelin Bay failed to turn up Hooded Plover, and in Augusta I checked into the Georgiana Malloy Motel for two nights (A$90 a night) and drove down to Cape Leeuwin where I seawatched from 14.20 – 16.45 hrs. (The lighthouse grounds are only open between 8.45 a.m. and 5 p.m.). Birds were continuously moving offshore, the first bird I saw being one of my target species – Black-browed Albatross. In total I saw seven Black-browed, 10 Shy and 24+ Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, plus two Southern Giant Petrels, a Great-winged Petrel and 30+ distant shearwaters, which were either Little or Hutton’s. The lighthouse grounds also held six Rock Parrots and three Australian Pipits.
Sunday 6th August
A pre-breakfast stroll by the Blackwood River in town added one new bird to the trip list – a Common Sandpiper! I also came across 10 Western Rosellas feeding on one of the lawns and there were two Bottle-nose Dolphins showing well in the river.
Mid-morning, I went on a three-hour boat trip with Naturaliste Charters (www.whales-australia.com/pages/vessels.html) looking for whales. The trip turned up a Humpback Whale and four Southern Right Whales, two of which came within touchable distance of the boat. As we hugged the shore of Flinders Bay (the Southern Rights come right into the bay to breed) I saw few seabirds, but a Brown Skua did fly right over the boat.
After the whale watching, I spent the time between 14.15 and 16.00hrs at Cape Leeuwin but the bright morning had turned into a stormy afternoon. The wind was a strong northerly and it began to rain at 15.30hrs. There were very few seabirds compared with yesterday, when there had been a mild northwesterly wind and bright skies. The only birds of note were two Black-browed and two Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, plus one small unidentifiable shearwater.
Monday 7th August
The TV news had broadcast a severe-storm warning the previous evening and overnight westerly gales continued into the morning. I left Augusta just after dawn en route to Dunsborough, a 100 km to the north.
It had been my intention to bird Boranup Forest, but the rain and the wind made this impractical. I attempted the scenic drive through the forest, but the track was blocked by a dismembered tree so I was forced to turn back. Indeed, Caves Road itself was strewn with debris, some of it hazardous, from wind-snapped trees.
Three Emus walking along a fenceline near Eagle Vale Winery provided a pleasant surprise. I stopped at Cowaramup Bay, Gracetown, a site mentioned in the Birds Australia Western Australia bird guide pamphlet number 23a entitled Birdwatching around Margaret River. I walked along the brook, which was relatively sheltered from the wind once I was away from the coast. Best birds were a single Long-billed Black-Cockatoo and three White-breasted Robins.
I made brief visits to Sugarloaf Rock and Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse before heading to the relative shelter of Bunker Bay, where I seawatched between 11.45 and 12.45hrs. The westerly gale was clearly forcing birds into the bay and there were large numbers of Hutton’s Shearwaters going past, often quite close to my observation point. I saw a bare minimum of 3,000 birds in the hour I was watching, along with 15 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses. Heavy rain began to fall, so I went into Dunsborough, checked into the Best Western Motel (A$80 a night) and had a coffee before returning to Bunker Bay where I remained from 14.15hrs to 16.30hrs. There were now smaller numbers of Hutton’s Shearwaters passing by (625 in total) but I also notched up 21 Great-winged Petrels, three White-chinned Petrels and 60 Australian Gannets.
Tuesday 8th August
I spent the first thirty minutes after dawn at Bunker Bay before spending some time on the coastal heath neat the lighthouse, followed by another fifteen minutes at Bunker Bay. The wind-level was down today and there were still Hutton’s Shearwaters moving offshore, but the light was poor and the birds were more distant. There were no other seabirds apart from a few Australian Gannets.
I left Dunsborough just before 10.00hrs, driving to Bunbury, then taking Route 20 north towards Pinjarra. A speed camera caught me doing 90 in an 80 kph area on the Busselton bypass!. The most interesting birds along the route were flocks of ibis near Waroona.
I left Route 20 just before Pinjarra and followed Frank O’Connor’s instructions to Lake McLarty via Old Bunbury Road and Mills Road. This took me through an area of wet paddocks and roadside marri trees, which held a number of woodland and open-country species, the best being nine Black-faced Woodswallows.
Lake McLarty is a large, shallow lake that may dry out completely during the austral summer. I counted 1700 ducks of seven species, the most numerous being Grey Teal and Australasian Shoveler. New for the trip was a single drake Chestnut Teal. The lake is well-known for its Palearctic waders, but the only evidence of that today was a solitary Black-tailed Godwit. However, there were 160 Black-winged Stilts, 170 Red-necked Avocets and 10 Banded Stilts to keep me happy. The surrounding woodland was also of interest, most notably for eight Regent Parrots.
From Lake McLarty I drove to Perth. Before checking into the Bel Eyre Motel (A$102 a night), I went to the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary across the Swan River in Bayswater. This is a small, artificial wetland, known as a good site for Little Grassbird – I saw three from the hide quite easily, The lake held a variety of waterbirds including 26 Pink-eared Ducks, three Blue-billed Ducks and six Black-winged Stilts.
Wednesday 9th August
Morning flight back to Hong Kong.
The list below follows the order and nomenclature from Simpson & Day (2004) except for some of the seabirds where I follow Shirihai (2002) and Olsen & Larsson (Skuas and Jaegers, 1997) with regard to Brown Skua.
Emu - Dromaius novaehollandiae
Two were seen at Camel Lake, Stirling Range NP on 4th August and 3 were along Caves Road near Eagle Vale Winery on 7th August.
Common Pheasant – Phasianus colchicus (Introduced)
Six around the golf course and Thomson Bay Settlement, Rottnest Island on 27th July.
Indian Peafowl – Pavo cristatus (Introduced)
Several at the Thomson Bay Settlement, Rottnest Island on 27th July.
Painted Buttonquail – Turnix varia
Three in a mallet plantation along Patonga Road, Dryandra State Forest on 30th July.
Black-browed Albatross- Thalassarche [melanophrys]melanophrys
Seven off Cape Leeuwin on 5th August with 2 there on 6th August.
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross – Thalassarche [chlororhynchos]
There were 10+ of Cheynes Beach on 1st August, 200+ off the Gap, Albany on 2nd and 3rd August, 24 off Cape Leeuwin on 5th August with 2 there on 6th August, and at least 20 at Bunker Bay, Cape Naturaliste on 7th August.
Shy Albatross – Thalassarche [cauta] cauta
Two off the Gap, Albany on 2nd August and 10 off Cape Leeuwin on 5th August.
Southern Giant Petrel – Macronectes giganteus
One off the Gap, Albany on 2nd August and 2 off Cape Leeuwin on 5th August.
Great-winged Petrel - Pterodroma macroptera
Five off Bathurst Point, Rottnest Island on 27th July, 20+ off Cheynes Beach on 1st August, 1 off Cape Leeuwin on 5th August, and 21 at Bunker Bay, Cape Naturaliste on 7th August.
White-chinned Petrel – Procellaria aequinoctalis
At least 3 at Bunker Bay, Cape Naturaliste on 7th August.
Hutton’s Shearwater – Puffinus huttoni
There was a large movement of this species at Bunker Bay, Cape Naturaliste during westerly gales on 7th August. At least 3,000 were observed between 11.45 and 12.45 hrs and a further 625 were counted between 14.15 and 16.30 hrs. On 8th August another 173 were noted in 45 minutes during the early morning.
[Shearwater sp. – Puffinus sp.
65 distant shearwaters off the Gap, Albany on 3rd August and 30 + off Cape Leeuwin on 5th August were either Little Shearwater or Hutton’s Shearwater.]
Australian Pelican - Pelecanus conspicillatus
Noted at Lake Monger, Herdsman Lake, the Swan River, Point Peron, Alcoa Wellard Wetlands, Two People’s Bay, Albany and Augusta. Highest counts were 14 at Point Peron and 22 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
Australasian Gannet - Morus serrator
There were 10 at Rottnest Island on 27th July, 4 at Point Peron on 28th July, 4 at the Gap, Albany on 2nd August with 10+ there on the following day, 63 at Cape Leeuwin on 5th August, 5 in Flinders Bay and 36 at Cape Leeuwin on 6th August, 4 at Sugarloaf Rock and 75 at Bunker Bay on 7th August, and 20 at Bunker Bay on 8th August.
Darter - Anhinga melanogaster
Three at the Swan River on 27th July, then single birds noted at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, Cheynes Beach on 1st August, Albany on 3rd August, and Augusta on 6th August.
Pied Cormorant - Phalacrocorax varius
Noted at Fremantle, Rottnest Island, Point Peron, Hamelin Bay, Cape Leeuwin, Augusta and Cape Naturaliste. Highest numbers were 300+ on islands off Point Peron on 28th July.
Little Pied Cormorant - Phalacrocorax melanoleucos
Small numbers in the Perth area with a breeding colony of c.8 pairs noted in John Oldham Park opposite Mount Hospital on 27th July. In addition, 11 were at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 37 at Emu Point, Albany on 3rd August, and 3 at Augusta on 6th August.
Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
Common in the Perth area with 20+ at Lake Monger and 50+ at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, and several at John Oldham Park on 27th July. The only other sightings were of 1 at Gracetown and 2 at Bunker Bay on 7th August, and 1 at Bunker Bay on 8th August.
Little Black Cormorant - Phalacrocorax sulcirostris
Seven at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July and 7 at Augusta on 6th August were the only ones seen.
Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus
Two at Herdsman Lake on 26th July.
Hoary-headed Grebe - Poliocephalus poliocephalus
There were at least 12 at Lake Monger and 1 at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, 4 at John Oldham park on 27th July, 48 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, and 4 at Hamelin Bay on 5th August.
Australasian Grebe - Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
One at Lake Monger and 5 at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, 4 at John Oldham Park on 27th July, 23 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 2 at Lake Seppings, Albany on 3 August, and 1 at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Black Swan - Cygnus atratus
Common in the Perth area. Recent evidence of breeding: 22 cygnets were seen at Lake Monger on 26th July and 4 very young cygnets were at Herdsman Lake on the same day; 5 cygnets were at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July and an adult was sitting on a nest at the same location. At Lake McLarty 85 adults were counted on 8th August.
Australian Shelduck - Tadorna tadornoides
Widespread in small numbers. Often seen on roadside ponds and in paddocks. Highest counts were 48+ at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July and 60 at Parkeyering Lake near Wagin on 31st July. A pair with 8 young at Lake Monger on 28th July, and two pairs with 9 and 10 young respectively at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Pacific Black Duck - Anas superciliosa
Common and widespread. Often seen on roadside ponds. 130+ at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July. Fairly numerous (but not as abundant as Grey Teal and Australasian Shoveler) at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Grey Teal - Anas gibberifrons
Common and widespread. 270 at Parkeyering Lake near Wagin on 31st July. Several hundred at Lake McLarty on 8th August
Chestnut Teal - Anas castanea
A single drake seen at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Australasian Shoveler - Anas rhynchotis
Common at Lake Monger on 26th July, 1 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 2 near Two People’s Bay Road on 3rd August , several hundred at Lake McLarty and 10+ at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Pink-eared Duck - Malacorhynchus membranaceus
160 at Lake Monger on 26th July, 11 at Lake McLarty and 26 at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August. Breeds at the latter site.
Hardhead - Aythya australis
Three at Lake Monger and 3 at John Oldham Park on 26th July, 6 at John Oldham Park on 27th July, 34 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, and 14 at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Australian Wood Duck - Chenonetta jubata
Fairly common and widespread. Often seen at roadside ponds. Highest count was 62 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
Blue-billed Duck - Oxyura australis
At least 220 at Lake Monger on 26th July, and 3 at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Musk Duck - Biziura lobata
At least 3 at Lake Monger and 3 at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, 24 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, and 5 at Lake Seppings, Albany on 3rd August.>/p>
Dusky Moorhen - Gallinula tenebrosa
Common at lakes in the Perth area, especially at Lake Monger. Two at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
Purple Swamphen - Porphyrio porphyrio
Common and tame at lakes in the Perth area with 20+ at Lake Monger on 26th July. Elsewhere, there were 3 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 2 at Dunsborough on 7th August, and 7 near Pinjarra on 8th August.
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Common at lakes in the Perth area with 80 at Herdsman Lake on 26th July and 14 in John Oldham Park on 27th July. There were 90 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
White-necked Heron - Ardea pacifica
One flew over the highway near Armadale on 8th August.
White-faced Heron – Egretta novaehollandiae
Six at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, singles at Bunker Bay on 7th August, near Pinjarra and at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August, and 5 at Lake McLarty also on 8th August.
Great Egret - Ardea alba
Singles at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands and Lake Monger on 28th July, and at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
One at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
Eastern Reef Egret – Egretta sacra
Two at Bunker Bay on 7th August.
Nankeen Night Heron - Nycticorax caledonicus
One at John Oldham Park on 27th July.
Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
There were 37 at Herdsman Lake on 26th July.
Australian White Ibis - Threskiornis molucca
There were 25+ at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, 330 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 2 at Two People’s Bay Road on 3rd August, and 70+ near Waroona, 13 near Pinjarra and 2 at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Straw-necked Ibis - Threskiornis spinicollis
There were 260 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, and 80 near Burekup and 170 near Waroona on 8th August.
Yellow-billed Spoonbill - Platalea flavipes
Two at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, 12 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July , and 4 at Augusta on 6th August.
Common Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos
One at Augusta on 6th August.
Black-tailed Godwit – Limosa limosa
One at Lake McLarty on 8 August.
Bush Stone-curlew – Burhinus grallarius
One at the Arboretum, Dryandra State Forest on 29th July with 2 together in the same place on 30th July.
Pied Oystercatcher - Haematopus ostralegus
Eight at Rottnest Island on 27th July, 4 at Emu Point, Albany on 3rd August, 2 at Cape Leeuwin on 5th August, and 3 at Gracetown on 7th August.
Sooty Oystercatcher - Haematopus fuliginosus
Three at Cheynes Beach on 1st August, 2 at Cable Beach, Albany on 2nd August, 6 at Cape Leeuwin on 5th August with 2 there on the next day, and 5 at Gracetown on 7th August.
Black-fronted Dotterel – Elseyornis melanops
One was at Lake Monger on 26th and 28th July, 8 were at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July and 2 were near Pinjarra on 8th August.
Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
There were 160 at Lake McLarty on 8th August and 6 at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on the same date.
Banded Stilt - Cladorhynchus leucocephalus
Five were seen at Herschel Lake, Rottnest Island on 27th July, and 10 were at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Red-necked Avocet - Recurvirostra novaehollandiae
A flock of 170 was at Lake McLarty on 8th August.>/p>
Banded Lapwing - Vanellus tricolor
There were 32 on the golf course at Rottnest Island on 27th July.
Brown Skua – Catharacta antarctica lonnbergi
One off Bathurst Point, Rottnest Island on 27th July, and one in Flinders Bay on 6th August
Silver Gull - Larus novaehollandiae
Common along the coast and around Perth. There were 160 at Lake Monger on 26th July.
Pacific Gull - Larus pacificus
Noted in small numbers in the Albany and Augusta areas.
Caspian Tern - Sterna caspia
Two were at Two People’s Bay on 2nd August, 14 were at Emu Point, Albany on 3rd August, 3 were at Augusta on 6th August, and 2 were at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Crested Tern - Sterna bergii
Common around the coast, extending into Perth along the Swan River.
Black-shouldered Kite - Elanus axillaris
Three near Kwinana and 1 at Point Peron on 28th July, 2 near Wandering on 29th July, 9 en route from Narrogin to Jerramungup on 31st July, 1 at Stirling Range NP on 4th August, and 1 near Brunswick Junction on 8th August.
Whistling Kite – Haliastur (Milvus) sphenurus
One at Point Peron on 28th July, 3 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on the same date, and singles at Two People’s Bay on 2nd August, and Busselton and Lake McLarty on 8th August.
White-bellied Sea-Eagle - Haliaeetus leucogaster
Singles at Sinker Reef, Two People’s Bay on 2nd August and from the Gap, Albany on 3rd August.
Wedge-tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
One at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 1 at Quiss Road, Fitzgerald River NP on 31st July with 2 there on 1st August, 1 en route Jerramungup to Albany on 1st August, 1 at Cheynes Beach Road on 3rd August, and 3 soaring together over Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August.>/p>
Swamp Harrier - Circus approximans
Two at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, 2 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 1 at Two People’s Bay Road on 2nd August, 1 at Cape Leeuwin on 5th August, and 1 at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Australian Hobby - Falco longipennis
Two at Lake Monger and 1 at Herdsman Lake on 26th July, and 1 again at Lake Monger on 28th July.
Brown Falcon - Falco berigora
One at Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
Nankeen Kestrel - Falco cencroides
One at Point Peron and 2 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 1 near Wandering on 29th July, 2 en route Narrogin to Jerramangup on 31st July, 1 en route Jerramungup to Albany on 1st August, 1 at Cape Leeuwin on 6th August , and 1 near Waroona and 1 near Pinjarra on 8th August.
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) - Columba livia (Introduced)
Noted at Perth, Fremantle and Point Peron.
Spotted Turtle Dove - Streptopelia chinensis (Introduced)
Two at Herdsman Lake on 26th July.
Laughing Turtle-Dove - Streptopelia senegalensis (Introduced)
Noted at Lake Monger, Rottnest Island and Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary .
Common Bronzewing - Phaps chalcoptera
Noted in small numbers at Kings Park, Dryandra State Forest, Narrogin, Jerramangup, Stirling Range NP, Augusta and Cape Naturaliste. Highest number was 13 on the Chester Pass Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
Brush Bronzewing - Phaps elegans
Two at Cheynes Beach on 1st August.
Crested Pigeon - Geophaps lophotes
Three near Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 1 at Two People’s Bay Road on 3rd August, and 4 near Pinjarra on 8th August. >/p>
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo - Calyptorhynchus banksii
Five at Bungendore Park on 29th July.
Short-billed (White-tailed) Black-Cockatoo - Calyptorhynchus latirostris
Four at Weirah Road, Dryandra State Forest on 30th July, 40+ just after dawn at Foxes Lair, Narrogin on 31st July, 100+ at South Coast Highway near Two People’s Bay on 3rd August and 4 at Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
Long-billed Black-Cockatoo - Calyptorhynchus baudinii
There were flocks of 300 at Wungong Gorge on 29th July, 200+ at Cheynes Beach Road on 3rd August, 60 near Lake Muir on 5th August, and a single bird at Gracetown on 7th August.
Galah - Cacatua roseicapilla
Noted at Perth, Rottnest Island, Wungong Gorge, Jerramungup, Albany, Augusta, Stirling Range NP, Dunsborough, and Lake McLarty. However, no more than 8 birds seen together.
Long-billed Corella – Cacatua tenuirostris (Released
Two at Perry Lakes with Little Corellas on 28th July.
Little Corella - Cacatua sanguinea (Released birds in Perth
and the southwest)
There were 26 at Perry Lakes on 28th July and 2 at Dunsborough on 7th August.
Western Corella - Cacatua pastinator
There were at least 23 birds in the Lake Muir area on 5th August.
Rainbow Lorikeet - Trichoglossus haematodus (Introduced)
Common in Perth at Lake Monger, Kings Park and Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary.
Purple-crowned Lorikeet - Glossopsitta porphyrocephala
There were 20+ at Brown Road South, Jerramungup on 31st July, 50+ at Fitzgerald River bridge on 1st August, and 30+ at Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August .
Regent Parrot - Polytelis anthopeplus
Eight at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Red-capped Parrot - Purpureicephalus spurius
Noted in small numbers (no more than 6 at one site) at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands, the Spectacles, Wungong Gorge, Bungendore Park, Dryandra State Forest, near Jerramungup, Two People’s Bay NR, Stirling Range NR, and near Pinjarra.
Western Rosella - Platycercus icterotis
Four at Wungong Gorge and 2 at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July, 1 at Foxes Lair, Narrogin on 31st July, 1 at Two People’s Bay Road on 3rd August, and 10 at Dunsborough on 6th August.
Australian Ringneck - Barnardius zonarius
Common and widespread.
Elegant Parrot - Neophema elegans
Four at Dryandra State Forest on 30th July, 2 at Two People’s Bay Road on 3rd August, and 3 at Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NR on 4th August.
Rock Parrot - Neophema petrophila
Eight at Sinker Reef, Two People’s Bay NR on 2nd August, and 6 at Cape Leeuwin on 5th August.
Fan-tailed Cuckoo - Cuculus flabelliformis
Singles at Wungong Gorge on 29th July and at Goode Beach, Albany on 3rd August.
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo - Chrysococcyx basalis
One at Quiss Road, Fitzgerald River NP on 1st August.
Laughing Kookaburra - Dacelo novaeguineae (Introduced)
Noted in ones and twos at Wungong Gorge, Bungendore Park, Dryandra State Forest, Two People’s Bay NR, Stirling Range NP, Lake Muir, Boranup Forest, Gracetown and Lake McLarty.
Sacred Kingfisher - Todirhampus sanctus
One at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
Noisy Scrub-bird - Atrichornis clamosus
One heard and briefly seen along the Little Beach to Information Centre Walk Trail on 2nd August, and another bird heard at Little Beach car park on 3rd August.
Varied Sitella - Daphoenositta chrysoptera
Four at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July with 9 there on 30th July, and 2 at Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
Rufous Treecreeper - Climacteris rufa
Five at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July with 6 there on the following day.
Splendid Fairy-wren - Malurus splendens
There were ten at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands and 1 at the Spectacles on 28th July, 3+ at Stirling Range NP on 4th August , and 5 at Cape Naturaliste and 1 at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Blue-breasted Fairy-wren - Malurus pulcherrimus
Seven at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July with 2 there on 30th July, and at least 3 at Fitzgerald River NP on 31st July.
Red-winged Fairy-wren - Malurus elegans
One at Waychinicup NR on 1st August, and 3 at Two People’s Bay NR on 2nd August.
Spotted Pardalote - Pardalotus punctatus
One at the Spectacles on 28th July.>/p>
Striated Pardalote - Pardalotus striatus
Two at Brown South Road, Jerramungup on 31st July, 3 at Stirling Range NP on 4th August, and 1 near Pinjarra on 8th August.
Western Bristlebird – Dasyornis longirostris
Two seen at Little Beach car park on 2nd August with 1 there on 3rd August.
White-browed Scrubwren - Sericornis frontalis
Common and widespread.
Weebill - Smicrornis brevirostris
One at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, 1 at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July with 6 there on 30th July, and 2 at Foxes Lair, Narrogin on 31st July.
Western Gerygone - Gerygone fusca
Noted in small numbers (no more than 3 at any one site) at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands, the Spectacles, Lake Monger, Wungong Gorge, Bungendore Park, Foxes Lair at Narrogin, and Lake McLarty.
Inland Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla apicalis
Noted in small numbers (up to 5) at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands, the Spectacles, Wungong Gorge, Bungendore Park, Dryandra State Forest, Jerramungup, Fitzgerald River bridge, Waychinicup NR, Stirling Range NP, Gracetown and Lake McLarty.
Western Thornbill - Acanthiza inornata
Three at Bungendore Park and 1 at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July, 2 at Dryandra State Forest on 30th July, and 11 at Stirling Range NP on 4th August
Yellow-rumped Thornbill - Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
Common and widespread. High count of 14 at Wungong Gorge on 29th July.
Red Wattlebird - Anthochaera carunculata
Common and widespread.
Western Wattlebird - Anthochaera lunulata
Three at the Spectacles on 28th July, and 3 at Foxes Lair, Narrogin on 31st July.
Yellow-throated Miner - Manorina flavigula
Three at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
Singing Honeyeater - Lichenostomus virescens
Common in Perth. Also seen at Rottnest Island, Point Peron, Alcoa Wellard Wetlands, the Spectacles, and near Pinjarra.
White-eared Honeyeater - Lichenostomus leucotis
Three in heathland along Kawana Road (east), Dryandra State Forest on 30th July.
Purple-gaped Honeyeater - Lichenostomus cratitius
Three at Fitzgerald River bridge on 1st August.
Yellow-plumed Honeyeater - Lichenostomus ornatus
Common at Dryandra State Forest and Stirling Range NP.
White-naped Honeyeater – Melithreptus lunatus
Three at Kawana Road (east) and 1 along Gura Road at Dryandra State Forest on 30th July, and 1 at Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
White-cheeked Honeyeater - Phylidonyris nigra
Three at Lake Monger on 28th July, several at Kawana Road (east), Dryandra State Forest on 30th July, 4 at Foxes Lair, Narrogin and 1 at Quiss Road, Fitzgerald River NP on 31st July, and singles at Waychinicup NR on 1st August, at Cheynes Beach Road on 3rd August, at Stirlng Range NP on 4th August, and at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
New Holland Honeyeater - Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
Common and widespread.
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater - Phylidonyris mela
Three at Kawana Road (east), Dryandra State Forest on 30th July, 1 at Quiss Road, Fitzgerald River NR on 31st July, 4 at Two People’s Bay on 1st August, 3 at Waychincup NR on 3rd August, and common along Bluff Knoll Road and Salt River Road in Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
Brown Honeyeater - Lichmera indistincta
Fairly common. Noted in Perth, Alcoa Wellard Wetlands, the Spectacles, Wungong Gorge, Bungendore Park, Dryandra State Forest, Foxes Lair at Narrogin, and Gracetown.
Western Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus superciliosus
A pair at the Spectacles on 28th July, 4 at Bungendore Park on 29th July, at least 15 at Dryandra State Forest on 30th July - with 12 of these being seen along Kawana Road (east), and 6 in Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
White-fronted Chat - Ephthianura albifrons
There were 15 on the golf course at Rottnest Island on 27th July.
Western Whipbird - Psophodes nigrogularis
One unseen bird singing at Quiss Road, Fitzgerald River NP on 1st August.
White-browed Babbler - Pomatostomus superciliosus
Four at Brown South Road, Jerramungup on 31st July.
Scarlet Robin - Petroica multicolor
A pair at the Spectacles on 28th July, 2 males at Wungong Gorge and 1 male at Bungendore Park on 29th July, 1 male at Dryandra State Forest on 30th July, 2 males at Two People’s Bay Road on 3rd August, and 5 birds at Bluff Knoll Road, Stirling Range NP on 4th August.
Red-capped Robin - Petroica goodenovii
A pair at the golf course on Rottnest Island on 27th July, and a male in the Arboretum at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July.
Western Yellow Robin - Eopsaltria griseogularis
One along Marri Road, Dryandra State Forest on 30th July.
White-breasted Robin - Eopsaltria georgiana
One Waychinicup Creek on 1st August, and three at Gracetown on 7th August.
Jacky Winter - Microeca leucophaea
Two at Dryandra Road and 1 at Gura Road, Dryandra State Forest on 30th July.
Grey Shrike-thrush - Colluricincla harmonica
One at the Spectacles on 28th July, and 1 at Dryandra State Forest on 30th July with 3 there on 31st July.
Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
One at Wungong Gorge on 29th July, 2 at Dryandra State Forest on 31st July, 1 at Waychinicup NR on 3rd August, and 1 at Lake McLarty on 8th August.
Rufous Whistler - Pachycephala rufiventris
One at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands and 2 at the Spectacles on 28th July, and 4 near Pinjarra and singles at Lake McLarty and Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Grey Fantail - Rhipidura fuliginosa
Common and widespread. There were 9 in a relatively small area at the Spectacles on 28th July.
Willie Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys
Common and widespread.
Magpie-lark - Grallina cyanoleuca
Common and widespread.
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike - Coracina novaehollandiae
One at the golf course, Rottnest Island on 27th July, 4 at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands and 2 at the Spectacles on 28th July, 2 at Cheynes Beach Road and 1 at the Gap Road on 3rd August, 2 at Stirling range NP on 4th August, and 5 near Pinjarra on 8th August.
Black-faced Woodswallow - Artamus cinereus
Nine near Pinjarra on 8th August.
Dusky Woodswallow - Artamus cyanopterus
Five at Dryandra State Forest near Old Mill Dam on 29th July with 3 more on the Ochre Trail on 30th July, and 4 at Brown South Road, Jerramungup on31st July.
Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus
There were at least 4 in the paddocks at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, one at Augusta (on the motel roof!) on 6th August, and 2 near Pinjarra on 8th August.
Australian Magpie - Gymnorhina tibicen
Common and widespread.
Grey Currawong - Strepera versicolor
One at Dryandra State Forest on 29th July, 1 near Ongerup on 31st July, 3 at Stirling Range NP on 4th August, and 2 near Cape Leeuwin on 5th August.
Australian Raven - Corvus coronoides
Common and widespread.
White-backed Swallow - Cheramoeca leucosternus
One at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July.
Welcome Swallow - Hirundo neoxena
Common and widespread. There were 160 at Government House Lake, Rottnest Island on 27th July, and 250 at Lake Monger on 28th July.
Tree Martin – Petrochelidon (Hirundo) nigricans
A fairly common and widespread species.
Australian Pipit - Anthus australis
Two at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands on 28th July, and 3 at Cape Leeuwin on 5th August.
Australian Reed-warbler - Acrocephalus australis
Three at Lake Monger and 1 at Herdsman Lake on 27th July, and 1 at John Oldham Park on 28th July.
Little Grassbird - Megalurus gramineus
Three at Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary on 8th August.
Silvereye - Zosterops lateralis
Common and widespread.
MAMMALS AND REPTILES
Short-beaked Echidna – Tachyglossus aculeatus
Singles at the Arboretum and Patonga Road, Dryandra State Forest on 29th and 30th July respectively..
Numbat – Myrmecobius fasciatusi
One in the mallet plantation at Patonga Road, Dryandra State Forest on 30th July.
Southern Brown Bandicoot – Isoodon obesulus
One at Sinker Reef, Two People’s Bay NR on 2nd August.
Western Bush Wallaby – Macropus irma
Two at Kawana Road (east), Dryandra State Forest on 30th July.
Western Grey Kangaroo – Macropus fuliginosus
Common, especially at Wungong Gorge and Dryandra State Forest.
Quokka – Setonix brachyurusb
Very common around the settlement and golf course at Rottnest Island on 27th July.
Bottle-nose Dolphin – Tursiops truncatus
Four dolphins in the Swan River between Perth and Fremantle on 27th July were presumably this species. Two seen in the Blackwell River, Augusta on 6th August.
Southern Right Whale – Eubalaena australis
Four (two adults, plus another adult and a calf) seen in Flinders Bay, Augusta on 6th August.
Humpback Whale – Megaptera novaeangliae
At least 3 off Cheynes Beach on 1st August and 1 in Flinders Bay, Augusta on 6th August.
Rabbit – Oryctolagus cuniculus (Introduced)
Small numbers at Quiss Road, Augusta and Cape Naturaliste.
Fox – Vulpes vulpes (Introduced)
One at Fitzgerald River Bridge on 1st August.
King’s Skink – Egernia kingii
One at Waychinicup on 1st August.
Shingleback – Trachydosaurus rugosus
One at Barrett’s Farm, Quiss Road on 31st July.
David Diskin, August 2006