Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 020 Contents 48 Scoop Traveller July - December 2011
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FOR LOVERS OF...
Avid bird enthusiast Chris Tate gives us his top tips for
birdwatching in WA in the July to December period,
including some out-of-the-way places where you just might
be able to find the brilliant Gouldian finch...
enerally the best time to see birds
almost anywhere in WA is during
the main breeding season, from
August to October, when they are
particularly active mating, nest-building and
feeding their young.
On a daily basis, birds are most active in
early morning and late afternoon. Most will
avoid the hottest part of the day, particularly in
the summer months. Inland areas often differ
from the coastal regions because breeding can
be determined by rainfall and food availability.
Not for profits
Birders can see more uncommon species on
reserves – as an example, Charles Darwin
Reserve north of Wubin is a former pastoral
station that boasts around 200 species
including malleefowl, Major Mitchell’s
cockatoo and peregrine falcon.
Bush Heritage Australia owns seven
reserves in WA, while the Australian Wildlife
Conservancy (AWC) owns Marion Downs and
Mornington stations which total 640,000ha
combined, creating one of the world’s largest
private reserves. Mornington is one of the few
places to see the brilliant Gouldian finch.Other
AWC sanctuaries in WA include Paruna in the
Avon Valley and Karakamia near Chidlow.
For bird enthusiasts wanting to stay on outback
stations and reserves, check Bush Heritage
Australia, bushheritage.org.au, and Australian
Wildlife Conservancy, australianwildlife.org, as
well as the DEC at dec.wa.gov.au .
Jaurdi Station, in the Goldfields between Southern
Cross and Coolgardie, is a good birding area
due to the diversity of landforms. It is managed
by the Department of Conservation and
Environment (DEC) and includes basic donga-style
Roebuck Bay in Broome | Many thousands of
waders visit from September through to April
during the northern wet season. The exposed
mudflats at low tide attract waders such as
red knots, greenshanks, avocets, whimbrels,
godwits and many more.
Carnarvon | Carnarvon attracts a significant
number of waders to its mudflats from
September to April. Check the mouth of the
Gascoyne River, Miaboolya Beach, Small Boat
Harbour, Oyster Creek and Eundoo Creek.
Perth | Throughout the year, Herdsman Lake
is a hotspot for water birds and bush birds.
There are walkways and paths around most of
the lake. Right across the road is Glendalough
Open Space which contains a small lake which
often has interesting birds.
Other spots in and around the city | Lake
Monger, Queens Gardens, Tomato Lake, Bibra
Lake, Lake Claremont, near Narrows Bridge.
Rottnest Island | A number of birds breed
on the salt lakes including banded stilts and
oystercatchers, with osprey nesting offshore.
Mandurah | In summer, a large influx of waders
to the estuary boosts its resident list.
RESERVES, NATIONAL PARKS AND STATIONS
accommodation and camping. Specialties at the
station include the southern scrub-robin, black-
breasted buzzard, Major Mitchell’s cockatoo and
Dryandra Woodland near Narrogin, also managed
by DEC, has eight self-contained forestry cottages
plus camping facilities at Congelin Campground.
There are over 100 species recorded here and August
to October is the best time to visit, with masses of
flowers, good weather and lots of nesting birds.
The mallet, sheoak and wandoo forests are
easy to walk through because the woodlands
are without any thick undergrowth. The wandoo
provides lots of nesting hollows for tree martins,
purple-crowned lorikeets and owls. Rufous
treecreepers are also relatively common. Go to
dec.wa .gov.au for more details.
Osprey at Creery Wetlands Reserve
(Photography Chris Tate).
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