Western Australia - 14th - 24th February 2008

Published by Phil Gregory (info AT s2travel.com.au)

Participants: Phil Gregory, Milt & Elaine Spitzer



February 14th Perth/ Wungong Dam /Sugarloaf Rock/ Cape Naturaliste. O/n Dunsborough

Feb 15th Dunsborough/Sugarloaf Rock/ Cape Naturaliste/ Hamelin Beach/ Cape Leeuwin/ Manjimup.

Feb 16th Manjimup/ Rocky Gully/ Mt Barker/ Cheyne’s Beach/ Two Peoples Bay/ Albany/ Lake Seppings.

Feb 17th Little Beach 0630-0800/ Cheyne’s Beach/ Waychinicup NP/ Albany/ Torndirrup NP/ Lake Seppings 1830-1900.

Feb 18th Little Beach 0600- Porongorup NP/ Stirling ranges @ Bluff Knoll and Mangiup Campsite/ Borden/ Katanning 1730.

Feb. 19th Katanning/ Narrogin/ Dryandra 11-1400 - Foxes lair 1700-1745, Dryandra spotlighting till 2100-2300.

Feb 20th Foxes lair/ Dryandra till 1030-Perth- Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake.

Feb 21st Perth QF 1054 to Broome 0955-1230; Mangrove Hotel, Gantheaume Point.

Feb 22nd Broome- Bird Observatory Wader beach am and Lone Tree pm.

Feb 23rd Broome BO 0700-0900 Crab Creek; Willie’s wetland and Broome SP before flight to Perth at 1300.

Feb 24th Milt and Elaine to Adelaide and Hobart; Phil to Rottnest Island then CNS o/n.

This was a private trip for Milt and Elaine, targeting the western endemics following a highly successful swing through the north and east back in 2005. We worked our way from Perth south to Cape Leeuwin and then went inland and east to Albany and the sites for the three difficult and rare mega-skulkers, the Western Whipbird, Western Bristlebird and Noisy Scrub-bird. The weather was kind, and we had a great time going across, seeing more Red-eared Firetails than on any of my previous trips, and some super Rock Parrots, plus other elusive stuff like White-breasted Robin, the rare Western Corella and both Carnaby’s and Baudin’s Black-Cockatoos.

The Two Peoples Bay and Cheyne’s Beach area delivered for us, with fantastic views of a male Noisy Scrub-bird within 10 minutes on our morning there, which was later than I had hoped as the bristlebird was not co-operating that day! The return match for the latter saw us get one nicely along the hearth edge, but they are definitely not as easy as they used to be here, the road improvements have mucked it up a bit for them. The whipbird showed briefly for Elaine and I and was singing at 3 sites, but Milt regrettably dipped (and will have to come back!) A nice supporting cast included Little Penguin, Red-winged Fairywren, Southern Emuwren, Western Wattlebird, more Red-eared Firetails and surprise Red-necked Avocet at Lake Seppings, along with Musk and Blue-billed Ducks.

Heading back to Perth we picked up Western Yellow Robin at a new site for me, also Western Thornbill, but Regent Parrot was absent, and of all the endemics the Western Spinebill proved to be the most troublesome, which is bizarre- we saw one in flight at Sugarloaf and Milt had a glimpse at Little Beach, that was it, where are they? Dryandra gave us Blue-breasted Fairywren and Rufous Tree-creeper, but a night drive was pretty lame with just a Tawny Frogmouth and really only possums to show for it, despite a bright moon and good conditions. Numbat next day was for Milt only, the beast dashing away, then it was back to Perth and some good ducks including Pink-eared, Aus. Shoveler, Musk and Blue-bill at the town lakes, plus bonus Little Grassbird and Spotless Crake, and more Western Corellas.

We then headed north to Broome, neatly missing a heavy storm that morning but encountering water everywhere. Now be advised, the road to the Bird Observatory 15 km out of town has big ROAD CLOSED sign at the start, and in the outback this generally means if you get caught driving it and churning it up you can get hefty fines. I went and checked with the Broome Information Office and was told it meant what it said by the posterior-covering female there, and I was unable to raise anyone on the phone at the Obs to get advice.

So, we did birding around Broome town, which was rewarding with Dusky Gerygone and White-breasted Whistler below the Mangrove Hotel in town. We went out to Gantheaume Point and checked for the dinosaur footprints which can be seen at low tide, but despite a diagram on the site info sign, and 4 other people also looking, none of us could find the damn things! They’ve only been there 150 million years so I guess they may still be around next time. Some shudder-inducing octopus were common in the tidal pools, changing colour from dark to whitish amazingly rapidly, and writhing away in horrific fashion.

Next day I was able to find out via Jonny Schoenjann and Adrian Boyle that we could actually go down the road, and we braved the 14km to the Broome BO, which was heavily flooded in places and required caution, though the firm sand base was actually fine. Once there, the warden was helpful and we quickly got sorted out, going out to see 16 Asian Dowitchers with the Barwits and about 100 Broad-billed sandpipers. Other nice things were Mangrove Golden Whistler, Dusky Gerygone and Mangrove Fantail, but I dipped on Redshank, a couple of probables at great range late pm was it. A strong probably Grey Falcon also went over, but the light was bright and I got no colour, the shape was sure unfamiliar and it was very pale below.

I tried next day with a slog out across the mud tot the creek edge, which Milt and Elaine wisely declined, but the tide was way out so no joy, and Redshank is still needed for Oz and I have to slog out again.

Then it was all over, and we headed back to Perth after a very enjoyable and rewarding foray through the Southwest and NW, cleaning-up all the endemics. Next day I went and twitched Pheasant on Rottnest Island (finding one took 3 hours and I was beginning to worry!) before my late evening flight out. My thanks to Milt and Elaine for good company on what was a fun trip, and to Sue as trip logistics manager.

Species Lists

* denotes a near-endemic

Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae
Two of uncertain provenance near Manjimup, then a couple of undoubtedly wild singles later.

* Plumed Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna eytoni
Six seen in Broome were unexpected.

* Black Swan Cygnus atratus
Common in the SW at wetland sites. Max. 150 in Perth.

Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides
A pair near Two Peoples Bay and then 70+ in Perth where they were tame.

Australian Wood (Maned) Duck Chenonetta jubata
Widespread and quite tame in the SW.

Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa
Just a few seen in the south.

* Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis
Twenty of this uncommon duck in Perth, which gave great looks.

Grey Teal Anas gracilis
30 at Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake.

Pink-eared Duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus
Twenty at Lake Monger were a surprise, this is a very nomadic species.

Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis
This uncommon bird was seen beautifully at Lake Seppings (7) and the Perth lakes (6).

Musk Duck Biziura lobata
This strange lumbering duck was seen well at Lake Seppings (7) and the Perth lakes (10).

* Hardhead Aythya australis
A few were seen at Manjimup and 10 at Lake Monger.

Little Penguin Eudyptula minor
One was unexpectedly offshore at Two Peoples Bay and had just been rescued from a steep rock hole where it was trapped, but it was sadly deceased next day.

Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes
Common offshore in the SW, with several hundred some days, and some good views off Two Peoples Bay.

Australasian Grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
A few were seen at Lake Monger and two near Narrogin.

Hoary-headed Grebe Poliocepahalus poliocephalus
10 at Hamelin Bay and at least 1 at Lake Monger.

Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus australis
A few were at Lake Monger in Perth.

Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
Two at Broome BO. None at Kalgan River!

* Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca
A few around in the SW.

* Straw-necked Ibis Threskiornis spinicollis
A few in the SW and at Broome.

* Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia
One at Broome.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill Platalea flavipes
Twenty at Lake Monger.

Eastern Great Egret Egretta (alba) modesta
Two in Perth and a couple at Broome. Now split from E. alba of the Americas.

Striated Heron Butorides striatus
Four or five seen on most visits to Crab Creek.

White-faced Heron Ardea novaehollandiae
Small numbers seen most days.

Eastern Reef Egret Egretta sacra
A couple of grey phase birds seen at Broome.

Nankeen Night-Heron Nycticorax caledonicus
One seen up at Broome.

* Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus
Widespread in small numbers.

Australasian Gannet Morus serrator
Some nice views of small numbers off Cape Naturaliste, Cape Leeuwin and Two Peoples Bay.

Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos
20 at Lake Monger.

Pied Cormorant P. varius
Small numbers in the SW and Milt saw one at Broome.

Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris
Just a handful seen in the SW.

Great Cormorant P. carbo
A couple of sightings in the SW.

Australian Darter Anhinga novaehollandiae
Three birds were seen in the SW.

* Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides
Four day records, it was very sparse.

Australian Hobby F. longipennis
One on Feb 20th at Herdsman Lake in Perth.

Falcon sp. Falco berigora/hypoleucos
A bird over BBO was slender and pale and made me seriously wonder about it being a Grey Falcon, but the light was too bad to confirm. Darn!

Peregrine Falco peregrinus
One probable glimpsed at C. Naturaliste.

Eastern Osprey Pandion cristatus
One at Broome, now a split as Pandion cristatus

Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris
Just three were seen, raptors were very scarce all trip.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
One flying along in front of the car as we forded a deep and lengthy flooded pothole was somewhat disconcerting!

Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus
Just three seen in the SW.

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Singles around Broome and at BBO

Black Kite Milvus migrans
Just a few in the Broome area

* Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus
Just one seen at BBO, a fine immature.

* Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrhocephalus
One standing by a puddle as we came out from BBO, a great look.

Swamp Harrier Circus approximans
Two were at Herdsman Lake and one at BBO.

* Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
One or two were seen on most days, with b3 together at Dryandra.

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
Just two day records, 4 in Perth the maximum. This is the race bellus, endemic to the SW.

Spotless Crake Porzana tabuensis
One seen nicely at Herdsman Lake, and another calling there, this was a nice unexpected find.

Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa
Just 6 at Lake Monger were the only sighting.

Common Coot Fulica atra
Widespread at many wetlands, with 300 in Perth and 50 at Manjimup.

* Painted Buttonquail Turnix varia
Great views of a pair at Dryandra, walking away in the leaf litter.

Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris
Three at Kalgan R and 3 at Broome.

Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus opthalmicus
This race with the big yellow eye-ring showed well at sugarloaf Rock, C. Leeuwin, Hamelin Beach, Little Beach and finally at Broome. Mostly in pairs, but we saw 7 on Feb 15th.

White-headed (Pied) Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus
Four at Herdsman Lake and one at Broome.

Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae
Four flew in and circled about low over Lake Seppings, an unexpected sighting.

Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva
One at Broome.

Grey Plover P. squatarola
Max 30 at Broome.

Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus
One at Broome Feb 21st

Lesser Sand-Plover C. mongolus
Just six at Broome.

Greater Sand-Plover C. leschenaultii
Up to 120 at Broome, common on the mudflats.

Black-fronted Dotterel Elseyornis melanops
One at Broome SP was the last addition to the trip list.

Masked Lapwing Vanellus novaehollandiae
Small numbers of the northern subspecies miles at Broome.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa melanuroides
Up to 400 at Broome of this distinctive eastern taxon, a possible split.

Bar-tailed Godwit L. lapponica
Thousands at Broome BO, which is a major staging point for the species. Many were leg-flagged.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Up to 100 at Broome, this is the eastern race variegatus, sometimes split from Hudsonian Whimbrel of N. America.

Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis
Max. 6 at Broome.

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinerea
Up to 60 at Broome.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Six day records, mostly singles with 6 at Broome.

Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes
Up to 70 at Broome.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Max. 10 at Broome, and sadly not a Redshank in sight!

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Two at the dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point and 6 at Broome.

Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus
Nineteen at Broome on Feb 22nd, with 16 in one flock amongst the Barwits.

Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
Flocks of hundreds at Broome.

Red Knot C. canutus
A couple picked out at Broome.

Sanderling C. alba
Six at one of the beaches in Broome.

Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis
Up to 200 at Broome.

Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
Thirty at Broome.

Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus
About 100 at Broome, by far the most I’ve seen in Australia.

Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus
I was surprised to find about 70 of this tropical species off Hamelin Beach, and then about 130 off an islet off C. Leeuwin.

Little Tern Sternula albifrons sinensis
Four one day and 5 the next at Broome and BBO.

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Ten at Broome.

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia
One at Hamelin Beach, 2 at Two Peoples Bay and 4 at Broome.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
Sixty at Broome over the saltflats.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo longipennis
Just two at Broome.

Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis
Ten at Broome.

Crested Tern T. bergii
Widespread, found at most beaches.

Pacific Gull Larus pacificus
4 ad and 3 imm. at Hamelin’s Beach, and up to 4 at Two Peoples Bay

Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Seen almost daily with 150 at Broome.

Spotted Turtle-Dove Streptopelia chinensis (I)
A few in Perth.

Laughing Dove S. senegalensis (I)
Small numbers in Perth and a few small towns.

Common Bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera
Small numbers on most days, good views.

Brush Bronzewing P. elegans
This elusive species showed well at Cheyne’s Beach, with one bird feeding on the track and another fly-by at Waychinicup NP.

Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes
Common in the drier areas of the south.
Peaceful Dove Geopelia striata
Just a few seen at Broome.

* Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis
A few seen at Broome.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii
Three at Wungong Dam and 8 at Crab Creek.

Carnaby’s (Short-b) Black-Cockatoo C. latirostris
We did well for this species, seeing it most days with 30 on Feb 17th and ten next day.

Baudin’s Long-billed Black-Cockatoo C. baudinii
Twenty at Wungong Dam Feb 14th and 70 near Manjimup on Feb 16th.

Galah Cacatua roseicapilla
Widespread, we saw 30 -40 most days.

Western Corella C. pastinator
Good views of about 40 of this very scarce endemic out at Rocky Gully, and a surprising number of birds around Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake, which looked to be this species too and not the feral Long-billed Corellas.

Little Corella C. sanguinea
A few up at Broome, max. 10.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo C. galerita
Milt and Elaine saw one on the first day.

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus
The nominate race was introduced and common around Perth in the south.

Red-collared Lorikeet T. (h.) rubritorques
A few of the probably splittable subspecies rubritorques were seen at Broome.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet Glossopsitta porphryrocephala
Two at Narrogin late afternoon, and about 20 around there in flowering gums next day, which gave good views.

Red-winged Parrot Aprosmictus erythropterus
A couple were seen at Broome.

Western Rosella Platycercus icterotis
A low-density quite scarce species, we saw them on 5 dates with nice looks at Sugarloaf Rock as the first.

Australian Ringneck Barnardius zonarius
Two races were seen the Port Lincoln and the Twenty-eight, both quite common in the SW with a few intergrades at Narrogin.

Red-capped Parrot Purpureicephalus spurius
Seen every day in the SW, in small numbers, with a max. of 7 at Narrogin. This is another of the western endemics.

Elegant Parrot Neophema elegans
Great views of 14 at Manjimup in a rural backyard, then 9 at Kalgan R.

Rock Parrot Neophema petrophila
None at C. Leeuwin (where they have got rid of the gardens which they used to favour), but we had 2 sat close and 4 flyovers at Hamelin Beach. Then one at Waterwheel by Cape Leeuwin, with another at Little Beach on both days there. Flight call is a distinctive fast high-pitched, silvery tsit tsit, tsit-tsit series.

Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianinus
A couple of sightings at Broome.

* Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis (H)
One at Broome.

Little Bronze-Cuckoo C. (malayanus) minutillus
A couple of sightings at Broome.

Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus
A juv. was being fed by a Rufous Whistler, along the entrance track to Broome BO.

Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides
One on the night drive at Dryandra was our only nocturnal bird.

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae
A few seen in the south, where it was unwisely introduced with unknown effects on the native birds as it is a fierce predator.

* Blue-winged Kookaburra D. leachii
A few around up at Broome.

Sacred Kingfisher T. sanctus
One at Broome was the only sighting.

Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus
Small numbers in the north, and a few at Katanning and Dryandra.

Noisy Scrub-bird Atrichornis clamosus
This was a great score of the most difficult of al the WA endemics and one of Australia’s hardest-to-see species; we checked the site to get our bearings as we came in from Manjimup in the heat of the day, with me not having been here previously. I was later than intended next day as we dipped on the bristlebird, only arriving at 0845 and then seeing the scrub-bird within 10 min!
It began singing and we chased it up, the bird being much farther back than I thought, and actually right by the caravan park entrance. It stopped singing, but I then caught it sitting tail cocked under a bush by a gravel heap by the speed bump sign by the caravan park entrance, and luckily it then came out, looked at us and then ran across the tar road- brilliant. It was a male with black malar stripe and whitish moustachial, just fantastic. There are two other road crossing sites just by here too, this is the place to see it- one is by the road culvert along the main coast road, just past the caravan park turn off, and the other a small dirt track to the beach about 30m past this culvert. Both looked promising, the beach track especially as it has lots of overhanging sedges.

Great Bowerbird Chlamydera nuchalis
Several seen up at Broome.

Rufous Tree-creeper Climacteris rufa
Great looks at Dryandra but boy this thing is locally distributed, we didn’t see it elsewhere though we did hear it at Porongorup.

Splendid Fairywren M. splendida
Great looks starting at Wungong Dam, males of this nominate race are rich violet beneath and very striking.

Red-backed Fairywren Malurus melanocephalus
A couple of sightings at Broome.

Variegated Fairywren M. lamberti
Two up at Broome were unexpected; this must be the race assimilis.

Blue-breasted Fairywren M. pulcherrimus
Just 4 birds at Dryandra, with some nice looks.

Red-winged Fairywren M. elegans
We saw these at Two Peoples Bay, Lake Seppings, Lake Muir and Porongorup, the latter site being where I had expected the previous species.

Southern Emuwren Stipiturus malachurus
Great views of a total of 6 of these amazing little birds at the scrub-bird site in the heath there, and at nearby Waychinicup NP.

Western Spinebill Acanthorhynchus superciliosus
Amazing, before the trip I would never have predicted that this would be the troublesome endemic. We saw one in flight at Sugarloaf, and Milt had a brief look at Two Peoples Bay, that was it, but where on earth have they all gone?

Singing Honeyeater Lichenostomus virescens
One near Katanning and quite common up at Broome.

White-gaped Honeyeater L. unicolor
Two up at Broome.

Yellow-plumed Honeyeater L. ornatus
Quite common at Dryandra.

Yellow-throated Miner Manorina flavigula
Just two seen near the Stirling Ranges.

Western Wattlebird Anthochaera lunulata
This elusive low-density species was good at Waychinicup NP; the first turn-in off the highway had a group of 7. There was also one at Narrogin. Split from Little Wattlebird of the east coast.

Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata
Seen daily in the south-west, it was noisy and obvious.

Rufous-throated Honeyeater Conopophila rufogularis
Good looks up at Broome.

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater Glyciphila melanops
Seen well at Cheyne’s Beach, with 7 birds here and at Waychinicup NP.

* Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta
Small numbers in both north and south.

New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
The common honeyeater of the trip, throughout the south-west, but not in the north at Broome.

White-cheeked Honeyeater P. niger
A much scarcer bird, we saw 4 at Torndirrup and then had 15 at flowering bushes in Wagin, with one at Narrogin. This is the western race with the narrow cheek stripe.

Brown-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus brevirostris
Two seen at Dryandra on both days.

White-naped Honeyeater M. lunatus chloropsis
The rather distinctive western race with the white skin over the eye was seen at Porongorup and Stirling Ranges.

* Little Friarbird Philemon citreogularis
Common up at Broome.

Western Bristlebird Dasyornis longirostris
They were vocal up by Little Beach car park, but hard to see, we heard at least 7 there. Finally got one on the second morning, poking along the edge by the second white-topped post above the car park entry, calling a harsh scratchy anxiety scold as it wanted to cross the road, then thinking better of it and working along the edge. They are much harder than they used to be thanks to roadworks up here.

Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus
Just one seen at Porongorup.

Striated Pardalote P. striatus
A few in the SW.

White-browed Scrubwren Sericornis frontalis
Quite common in the south, these are of the spotted form maculatus.

Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris
A few at Stirling Ranges, Porongorup and Dryandra.

Western Gerygone G. fusca
Three day records, the first at Wungong Dam then at Porongorup.

Dusky Gerygone Gerygone palpebrosa
Nice looks at this pale-eyed NW coastal endemic at Broome, the first below the Mangrove Hotel and then also at BBO.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill A. chrysorrhoa
Small numbers in the SW, first at Wungong Dam.

Western Thornbill A. inornata
Good looks at this pale-eyed western endemic thornbill at Stirling Range and Dryandra.

Inland Thornbill Acanthiza apicalis
Seen most days in the south.

* Grey-crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis
Groups of ten and then 6 at Broome BO, this is the rufous-breasted race rubeculus.

Western Whipbird Psophodes nigrogularis
This rare bird was singing at Two Peoples Bay, and at Waychinicup along the first turning track, and also along the sandy park track inland at the scrub-bird site. I glimpsed it from Little Beach, as did Elaine next day. Sorry Milt, this is one of the hard trio here.

Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus
An immature was seen on Feb 20th

Pied Butcherbird C. nigrogularis
A few seen up at Broome.

* Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
Seen daily.

Grey Currawong Strepera versicolor
A few seen around the Dryandra area.

* White-breasted Wood-swallow Artamus leucorhynchus
A few up at Broome.

Black-faced Wood-swallow A. cinereus
Six at Broome and one near Narrogin.

Dusky Wood-swallow A. cyanopterus
Seven at Dryandra on both days there.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae
Five day records, with most up at Broome.

Varied Sittella Neositta chrysoptera
A good find at Dryandra, with 3 noisy twittering birds there.

Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis
Seen most days in the SW.

Mangrove Golden Whistler P. melanura
A fine male at Crab Creek, I was anxious to get this one as Milt and Elaine missed it on their last trip..

Rufous Whistler P. rufiventris
One f. at Dryandra and one up at Broome, feeding a Brush Cuckoo chick.

White-breasted Whistler P. lanioides
This is one of the Broome specials, and we had terrific looks at a couple of showy males in the mangroves down below the Mangrove Hotel in Broome.

Grey Shrike-thrush Colluricincla. harmonica
A few in the SW, first at the Stirling Ranges.

* Grey Fantail R. fuliginosa
A few in the south-west corner.

* Mangrove Fantail Rhipidura phasianina
Good views in the mangroves at Broome and the Bird Observatory, three day records of 2 birds.

Willie-wagtail R. leucophrys
Seen every day, in small numbers.

* Paperbark Flycatcher M. (inquieta) nana
Quite common in the Broome area they were this northern taxon which is split by many.

* Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca
Widespread throughout.

Australian Raven Corvus coronoides
The small SW race was widespread in that region

Torresian Crow C. orru
A few up at Broome only.

* Jacky Winter Microeca fascinans
A couple of singles at Dryandra, and Milt & Elaine saw one at Manjimup.

Scarlet Robin Petroica boodang
Great views from Manjimup area onwards, often on fence wires and with some fine showy males. Now split from Pacific Robin of the Pacific islands and an endemic.

Western Yellow Robin Eopsaltria griseogularis
Another scarce western endemic, this was great at the campground on the left as you come into Stirling Ra, about 11 km south of Bluff Knoll. We dipped on it at Dryandra, but did not try too hard as we already had it.

White-breasted Robin Eopsaltria georgiana
This scarce western endemic showed very well at C. Naturaliste along the footpath to the viewpoint not far from the car park, and also in the car park at the motel in Manjimup.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
A single flew past up at Broome on Feb 22nd.

* Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena
Small numbers around the Perth/ C. Naturaliste area.

Tree Martin H. nigricans
Small numbers most days.

Australian (Horsfield’s) Bushlark Mirafra javanica (H)
One was heard at Broome BO out over the saltflats inland.

Australasian Pipit Anthus australis
Three day records, with one being up at Broome.

* Little Grassbird Megalurus gramineus
One was singing very well at Herdsman Lake, and Milt and Elaine got a brief look at it.

* Australian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus australis
Three day records from Lake Seppings and Herdsman Lake.

Yellow White-eye Z. luteus
Common in the mangroves around Broome.

Silvereye Z. lateralis
Quite common in the SW.

Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum
A fine male at Broome.

Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia bichenovii
Just four seen at Broome.

Masked Finch Poephila personata
A pair briefly near Broome as we were leaving.

Red-eared Firetail Stagonopleura oculata
Amazing. My best-ever trip for a sparse endemic species I sometimes miss! We had Three at Wungong Dam, two at Sugarloaf along the road in, saw a lovely one at C. Naturaliste along the walking track, heard it at Hamelin Beach, saw one at Torndirrup and finally two at Porongorup. Some birds lacked the red ear-patch but otherwise looked like adults.


Numbat Myrmicobius fasciatus
We did much searching at Dryandra with out success, but Milt got a brief look at one dashing for cover.

Western Grey Kangaroo Macropus giganteus
Some big ones seen at Wungong Dam and Cape Naturaliste with a few at Porongorup.

* Agile Wallaby M. agilis
Abundant up at Broome, especially after rain when they were all over the track and can travel amazingly fast!

Woylie Bettongia penicillata
Phil had a brief view of one at night at Dryandra.
This strange lumbering duck was seen well at Lake Seppings (7) and the Perth lakes (10).

Quokka Setonix brachyurus
A fair sized dark stocky macropod that hopped across the track at Little Beach early one morning seems likely to be this species. I saw 3 on Rottnest Is. too on my departure day.

* Echidna Tachyglossus aculeata
Great views of one at Dryandra.

Old World Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus
This introduced pest was seen around Katanning and Dryandra.

Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis
Great views of 6 feeding in the surf close inshore at Sugarloaf, sometimes even turning completely upside down and coming out belly upwards, very strange.

Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus
One at Two Peoples Bay was unexpected.

Other critters

Octopus sp. Half a dozen horrible but quite amazing 30cm long octopus were in the tidal pools at Gantheaume Point, changing colour amazingly fast. Perhaps blue-ringed octopus, which is a very poisonous member of the family?

Phil Gregory March 2008 sicklebill@optusnet.com.au