Western Australia, 2018

Mark Finn
September 28th-October 12th

This was the second birding tour of Western Australia operated by Birdwatching Breaks. The tour was guided by Frank who hails from Perth and is an accomplished guide in his own right. Without his local knowledge and his uncanny knack of finding rare or unusual birds the tour would not have been the success it was. Several key target birds were seen well including Malleefowl, huge numbers of the beautiful Banded Stilt, five species of cuckoo, Australian Owlet-Nightjar, Bourke's Parrot, Ground Cuckooshrike, Crested Shrike Tit, Gilbert's Whistler, Grey Honeyeater and Red-eared Firetail. In the SW corner the group managed the big three of Noisy Scrubbird, Western Bristlebird and Black-throated Whipbird.

The following report should bring back good memories of an enjoyable tour albeit in rather unseasonal and at time cool weather patterns. My thanks go out to Frank for his guidance and driving around WA and running through the birdlist each evening. I would also like to thank Tonia and her team at Inala for the ground arrangements in WA.

September 28th: Bungendore, Pinjarra, Lake Mclarty area, Hells Head, Lake Goegrup
Daily 73, New 73, Running 73
Weather: Sunny spells with cloud at times on a E wind 25C

The group met up with Frank our local guide at 0900 hours for a day's birding around Perth. On exiting the hotel various water channels attracted Little Black Cormorant, Dusky Moorhen, Australian Wood Duck and Red Wattlebirds. The first stop was near Bungendore where gardens and fruiting trees attracted a range of birds including the scarce and localised Western Wattlebird. Other species present included New Holland and Brown Honeyeaters, Willie Wagtail, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Silvereye and a beautiful Scarlet Robin perched on a fencepost. Near the reserve entrance a displaying Australasian Hobby caught our attention. A walk through the eucalyptus forest brought further sightings of Laughing Kookaburra, Western Gerygone, Weebill and a pair of Little Corellas. A short distance down the road a car park was good for Australian Ringneck, Splendid Fairywren, White-browed Scrubwren, Rufous Whistler, Grey Fantail and brief looks at a White-breasted Robin. It was time to take the road towards the town of Pinjarra with a stop for Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Red-capped Parrot. Lunch was taken in one of the town parks before setting off towards the Lake Mclarty area a region of farmland, seasonal pools, lakes and estuary habitats. The pools held Australasian Shelduck, Hardhead, Grey Teal and White-faced Herons. On the wires several Black-faced Cuckooshrikes and Black-faced Woodswallows. The trees around Lake Mclarty were good for Eastern Osprey, Whistling Kite and best of all a group of Regent Parrots. On the lake itself Black Swan, Hoary-headed Grebe, a female Musk Duck and hawking Whiskered Terns. Another area was productive for Australian Pipit, Striated Pardalote, Swamp Harrier and White-necked Herons on flooded pools. On the return journey we eventually caught up with our target species White-faced Chat sitting on paddock fences. Time was getting on as Hells Head was reached with the ocean attracting Pied Cormorant, Australasian Gannet, Silver Gull, Crested Tern, and in roadside bushes Singing Honeyeater. Stopped at a supermarket for supplies and then a short stop at Lake Goegrup. The lake held Australasian White Pelican, Yellow-faced Spoonbill, Little Egret, Red-necked Avocet and a Caspian Tern. Returned to Perth for the night after a great first day in Western Australia.
Mammals: Western Grey Kangaroo (60)

September 29th: Perth, Herdsman Lake, Yanchep National Park, Lancelin, Lake Thetis, Cervantes, Geraldton
Daily 86, New 32, Running 105
Weather: Rain showers giving way to sunny spells on a W wind 20C

This morning we checked out of the hotel and made our way to Herdsman Lake in the suburbs of Perth. The rain was rather heavy meaning our walk around the reserve was delayed. Our first bird was a Tawny Frogmouth sitting quietly on a nest in a eucalyptus tree. On the grass many Australasian Swamphens, Australasian Shelduck and Australasian Ibis. A scan of the first water section added Pied Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Pink-eared Duck and Australasian Shoveler to the bird list. Next stop was the boardwalk and hide area which was excellent for close views of the uncommon Freckled Duck. In the open water Great Crested and Australasian Grebes, Grey Teal, Musk and Blue-billed Ducks and the first Great Cormorants of the tour. A walk along the boardwalk was productive for Little Grassbird, Australian Reed Warbler, Rufous Night Heron and a hunting Swamp Harrier. In the trees a group of Silvereye, Western Gerygone and Grey Fantails. It was time to head northwards towards Yanchep National Park which was an additional site to the itinerary. It was particularly good for Black-tailed Native Hen, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo and a Brown Goshawk being chased by wattlebirds. Near the entrance gate the group were entertained by a family party of Splendid Fairy Wrens, Australian Ringnecks and flocks of Welcome Swallows. Back on the main highway north stopping for a large flock of Western Corella's en route. A diversion to the coastal town of Lancelin to watch the ocean and a nearby island. Over the island we could clearly see Bridled and Crested Terns, Brown Noddies, Silver Gull and a marauding Arctic Skua. The sandy beach had Fairy Terns and a single Roseate Tern, Pied Oystercatcher and a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles hunting along the cliffs. Within the bay Pacific Gulls were also noted. The journey north passed small towns with another diversion to Lake Thetis and Cervantes. The lake had the attractive Red-capped Plover and a summering Common Greenshank. Near the sports ground we caught up with the attractive Banded Lapwing. The road to Geraldton our base was rather straight and offered little in the way of birdlife apart from a pale phase Little Eagle and a Grey Carrawong.

September 30th: Geraldton, Northampton, Kalbarri National Park, Murchison Estuary, Port Gregory
Daily 70, New 32, Running 137
Weather: Rather mixed with sunny spells and showers on a SW wind 21C

In the hotel grounds several White-plumed Honeyeaters showed in flowering shrubs. The group were on their way to the small town of Northampton with a stop for a recently arrived Rufous Songlark. At the turning towards Kalbarri National Park another stop produced sightings of the nomadic Pied Honeyeater and a family party of White-winged Fairywrens. Further up the road we encountered an extraordinary sight of hundreds of Masked Woodswallows in a single flock, also present in the area were White-winged Trillers and a large group of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos of the race samueli which are not usually present this far south. A road culvert attracted the uncommon Fairy Martin several of which were collecting mud for nesting material. Another roadside stop attracted a hunting Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Songlark and the nomadic Diamond Dove. On entering the park Frank drove down to a viewpoint overlooking a rocky gorge and river habitat bounded by cliffs a truly stunning setting. The scrub was productive for birds including Tawny-crowned, White-fronted, White-cheeked, Brown and Black Honeyeaters, Redthroat, Weebill and Chestnut-rumped Thornbill. From the viewpoint views of the stunning White-backed Swallow, Rainbow Bee-eater and Sacred Kingfisher. It was time to visit the coast and the Murchison Estuary near the town of Kilbarri. On the outskirts a surprise find was a group of Emu feeding close to a housing estate!! A scan into the estuary added several species including Pacific Reef Egret, Sooty Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Crested and Fairy Terns. On exiting the town a pair of Pallid Cuckoos showed well on a wire. Our final stop was near Port Gregory which had almost 3000 Banded Stilts a truly stunning species, Pied Stilt, Red-necked Avocet, Red-capped Plover and up to three Common Sandpipers. Back to base at Geraldton where Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were noted offshore.

October 1st: Geraldton, Yalgoo, Mount Magnet
Daily 57, New 17, Running 154
Weather: Cloudy then sunny on a SE wind 15-22C

An earlier breakfast today as our programme was taking us further north to the mining town of Mount Magnet. Before leaving an Australian Hobby flew over in search of prey. Once on the road and leaving Geraldton the traffic was light apart from the occasional road train. The first stop was for a male Common Bronzewing by the roadside with adjacent shrubs attracting White-cheeked, Singing and Pied Honeyeaters. In a small town Noisy Miners were added to the list and shortly afterwards a further birding stop was to prove extremely productive. A walk into the bush gave the group sightings of Pied Butcherbird, Crested Bellbird, Redthroat, Red-capped Robin and Zebra Finch. Flocks of migrant White-winged Trillers and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters were also noted. At 1000 hours a habitat of stony ground dotted with bushes was visited. On arrival a Wedge-tailed Eagle posed on a rock and overhead Collared Sparrowhawk, Australasian Kestrel, Brown Falcon and several Whistling Kites. Another walk into the bush added migrant Crimson Chats, the scarce Black Honeyeater, Black-eared and Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoos. Around an hour later our birding was around the small settlement of Yalgoo. By the racecourse we recorded Little Crows and in nearby scrub Diamond Dove, Splendid Fairy Wren, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill and Southern Whiteface. Lunch was taken at a scenic overlook towards Yalgoo. After lunch another walk allowed close views of Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo perched in a tree and several Redthroats posing in front of us. Frank had views of Western Quail Thrush but it eluded the rest of the party. Time to travel to Mount Magnet and a stop in the mulga habitat. At first bird life was very quiet until the rare and poorly known Grey Honeyeater was located calling from a tree - great views. Also present in the area were White-winged Fairy Wren, Grey-crowned Babbler and Slaty-backed Thornbill. Arrived in Mount Magnet our base for the next two nights.
Mammals: Red Fox (1), Common Rabbit (3), Common Wallaroo (5)

October 2nd: Mount Magnet, Cue
Daily 44, New 10, Running 164
Weather: Warm and sunny with light E winds 28C

Today was spent around the old mining town of Cue which lies around 80km north of Mount Magnet. Breakfast was taken at the roadhouse just up the road from our accommodation. A few birds were around including Whistling Kite, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Yellow-throated Miner. Our first walk of the day was through a habitat of low bushes on a saline surface. After a little searching we located a Rufous Fieldwren singing from the top of a bush, excellent views. Before reaching Cue a little bit of luck as Frank located a group of Ground Cuckooshrikes (in flight) an elusive bird endemic to Australia. A short walk into the scrub added a perched Brown Falcon and Chiming Wedgebill to the birdlist. Beyond Cue an area of old gold mine workings was productive for Little Woodswallow, White-backed Swallow, Magpie Lark, White-plumed Honeyeater and several Western Bowerbirds. A diversion out of town was successful for Banded Whiteface a scarce species of Western Australia. On the way back to Cue a Red-backed Kingfisher was located by Biff sitting in a dead bush, and in nearby woodland a smart Hooded Robin, Red-capped Robin and White-winged Trillers. Lunch was taken in the centre of Cue which has had money spent on it to promote its heritage and history to the current day. The drive back to Mount Magnet took most of the afternoon with several stops along the way. Before leaving Cue a Torresian Crow was located among the numerous Little Crows. The first walk of the afternoon was through an area of mulga. This was productive for Rufous Whistler, Slaty-backed and Chestnut-rumped Thornbills, Crested Bellbird, Southern Whiteface and White-winged Fairywrens. On the next stop further along the road a party of Purple-backed Fairywrens was located with several Redthroats. The heat was rising as we entered an area of cliffs with trees and bushes just north of Mount Magnet. A pair of Mulga Parrots flew over us but the group could not relocate this rather localised parrot. On the lower track a sector of habitat was productive for Pied Honeyeater, Willie Wagtail, Grey Shrike Thrush and Yellow-rumped Thornbills. An earlier return to base was appreciated  everyone after another great day in the field.
Mammals: Common Rabbit (1)

October 3rd: Mount Magnet, Paynes Find, Sandstone Road, Warne River, Maranalgo Road, Dalwallinu
Daily 52, New 4, Running 168
Weather: Cloudy with a brisk SE wind 22C

Packed up and checked out at Mount Magnet then after breakfast we headed south to Paynes Find. The usual birds were seen alongside the highway until turning along Sandstone Road. Our first stop was in an area of degraded woodland where a walk produced sightings of Mulga Parrot, Galah, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and White-winged Trillers. The most productive area was further east at Warne River an area which is used for cattle grazing. To our amazement a Gilbert's Whistler showed well in a dead tree giving its loud and raucous song. Also present was a Mistletoebird, Willie Wagtail and hundreds of Masked Woodswallows. Walking around the area eventually led us to a flock of Bourke's Parrot a scarce and localised bird of Australia's arid interior country. The group returned to the van and headed back towards Payne's Find with a stop at the original area. This time a mixed flock was located which included Inland, Chestnut-rumped and Slaty-backed Thornbills, Red-capped and Hooded Robins and a Pied Butcherbird. Lunch was taken at the roadhouse followed by a drive down Maranalgo Road which provided us with sightings of Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Grey Shrike Thrush, Little Woodswallow and Red-backed Kingfishers. The remainder of the day was spent travelling to the farming town of Dalwallinu with a stop at a rest area backing onto a forest and rock habitat. Birds observed included a male Emu with four young, Western Corella, Common Bronzewing and a male Splendid Fairywren. Checked in at the hotel in Dalwallinu for the night.
Mammals: Common Wallaroo (2) Red Kangaroo (1)

October 4th: Dalwallinu, Reynoldson, Northam, Pumphreys Bridge, Dryandra
Daily 76, New 11, Running 179
Weather: Rather mixed with sunny spells and heavy rain in late afternoon. SW wind 22C

The day started at Dalwallinu with heavy rain showers under a leaden sky which did not bode well for the day ahead. After breakfast we set off towards the flower reserve of Reynoldson a gem of a reserve set among the vast cereal fields of Western Australia. En route a few of the roadside pools held Pied Stilt and Red-capped Plover plus Grey Teal and Australasian Shelducks. A walk around Reynoldson was productive for honeyeaters including Pied, Black, Singing, Brown and White-fronted. On the reserve edge Brown and Rufous Songlarks, Crimson Chat, Black-faced Woodswallow, Striated Pardalote and a pair of Mulga Parrots. It was time to head towards Northam a medium sized town with strong links to the farming industry. The River Avon and its weirs and islands attract a variety of birds and on this occasion included Hoary-headed Grebe, Little Pied and Black Cormorants, Pacific Black Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Hardhead, Mute Swan, Black-tailed Native Hen, Eurasian Coot and a pair of Fairy Martins. After a picnic lunch the route took us towards Pumphreys Bridge with roadside lagoons holding White-necked and White-faced Herons and Black-fronted Dotterels. On arrival at Pumphreys Bridge the eucalyptus trees attracted Scarlet and Red-capped Robins, Silvereye, Rufous Whistler, Brown-headed and Yellow-plumed Honeyeaters. Our last birding stop was an area of Dryandra Forest where we located several interesting birds including Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Elegant Parrot, Dusky Woodswallow, Rufous Treecreeper and White-browed Babbler. On exiting the area we were lucky to find a pair of Bush Thick-knees sitting quietly on a lawn.
Mammals: Western Grey Kangaroo (80+) Common Rabbit (1) Short-beaked Echidna (1) Brush-tailed Bettong (1)

October 5th: Narrogin, Dryandra
Daily 66, New 10, Running 189
Weather: Cloudy with some sunny spells on a light NE wind 22C

Overnight rains had started to clear as we left Narrogin for the short journey to Dryandra a beautiful area of native eucalyptus forest and farmland. Before leaving the city limits a pair of Western Rosella's were observed near the motel. On arrival at Dryandra the front row were fortunate to see a perched Square-tailed Kite a species which hunts birds within the forest and just below the canopy, sadly we could not relocate this scarce bird. In an open area with flowering shrubs we stopped again for sightings of Western Whistler, Fan-tailed and Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoos, White-cheeked, Tawny-crowned and New Holland Honeyeaters. In the next area of forest we had fantastic views of a perched Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Jacky Winter, White-browed Scrubwren, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Shining Bronze Cuckoo, Western Thornbill and Western Gerygone. Probably the best bird was a Western Shrike Tit which showed well in the flowering trees overhead.  Echidna in the area were Common Bronzewing, White-browed Babbler, Elegant Parrot and the first Restless Flycatchers of the tour. The group explored several tracks for birds with one having the uncommon White-eared Honeyeater, Western Spinebill and a calling Spotted Pardalote. Lunch was taken at a campground followed by an afternoon of looking at birds seen earlier in the day. The highlight of the afternoon was a Numbat located by Ainslie a fitting end to the day.
Mammals: Western Grey Kangaroo (C), Common Rabbit (2), Short-billed Echidna (3), Numbat (1)

October 6th: Narrogin, Stirling Range, Bluff Knoll and Caravan Park, Corackerup
Daily 68, New 9, Running 198
Weather: Cloudy to start with then sunny skies on a NE wind 22C

Today our journey continued in a southerly direction toward the coastal town of Albany. Along the route now familiar and common birds of rural SW Western Australia were noted. A diversion to a salt-lake in the Stirling Ranges allowed us views of Hooded and Red-capped Plovers, Brown and Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters and four Emu feeding in a field of flowers. Next stop was at Bluff Knoll where the group had good fortune to watch an Australian Owlet Nightjar poking its head out of a nest hole or roosting site. In the nearby bushes Grey Fantail, Western Spinetail, Splendid Fairywren and Striated Pardalote. Before lunch a walk along a dirt track provided us with views of Western Shrike Tit, Restless Flycatcher, groups of Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Dusky Woodswallow and Yellow-plumed Honeyeaters. Lunch was taken at the campground kitchen where a Peregrine Falcon was seen briefly in flight dashing across the forest canopy. After lunch a visit to an area across the road added Western Yellow Robin and Regent Parrot. It was time to visit Corackerup an important area of mallee habitat. En route a stop for a flock of Carnaby's Black Cockatoo and Red-capped Parrot. A walk within the mallee produced nothing of note until a pair of Southern Scrub Robins showed by the track. Earlier roadside pools had produced the first Chestnut Teals of the tour.
Mammals: Western Grey Kangaroo (2), Red Fox (1), Common Rabbit (2), Western Brush Wallaby (3)

October 7th: Jerramungup, Fitzgerald NP, Gairdner River, Bremer Bay, Corackerup
Daily 74, New 7, Running 205
Weather: Cloudy followed by sunny spells with no wind recorded 21C

A cloudy start to the day with a Striated Pardalote building a nest within the motel grounds. After breakfast a visit to an area of mallee where we quickly located and observed a pair of Shy Heathwrens. The group also observed several Western Whipbirds giving their diagnostic calls and giving brief views perched in bushes. Also in the same habitat were New Holland, White-cheeked, Tawny-crowned and Singing Honeyeaters. A visit to another sector of mallee produced a Western Fieldwren singing from a bush. At the Gairdner River close views of Chestnut Teal, Tree Martin, Grey Currawong and Grey Butcherbird. A return to Jerramungup for supplies and a coffee break and then down to Bremer Bay for a change of habitat and birds. On arrival the large sand-flats held Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers, Red-necked Stint, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone and Red-capped Plovers. Other species included Great, Pied and Little Pied Cormorants, Australian Pelican, Australasian Shelduck, Australian Ibis, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Eastern Osprey and Caspian Terns. In the scrubby areas Grey Fantail, Western Whistler and the commoner birds. After lunch we headed back towards the motel with sightings of Australian Kite and Straw-necked Ibis along the way. The remainder of the day was spent in the mallee area of Corackerup. A small river area had a pair of Black-fronted Dotterel, and nearby a culvert attracted the shy Purple-gaped Honeyeater and Southern Scrub Robin. The finale started with an Elegant Parrot drinking at a roadside pool and Spotted Pardalote singing from a bare tree. As dusk was approaching a male Painted Button-quail was seen on the road allowing brief but good views. To cap everything which happened today a Malleefowl was located by Frank which gave us long and extended views as it walked around an area of ground adjacent to its mallee habitat - an absolutely fabulous end to the day.
Mammals: Western Grey Kangaroo (2), Common Rabbit (2), Western Brush Wallaby, (3)

October 8th: Jerramungup, Corackerup, Cheyne Beach, Albany
Daily 74, New 6, Running 211
Weather: Sunny with light E winds 17-21C

Checked out at Jerramungap and headed in a southerly direction towards the mallee habitat at Corackerup. Similar birds to the last visits with the addition of another Malleefowl by the roadside. The group had better views of Purple-gaped Honeyeater and a Wedge-tailed Eagle being mobbed by Australian Ravens. Our journey then took us towards the birding hotspot of Cheyne Beach where we stopped for the rare Noisy Scrub-bird. This unusual bird has a beautiful song which carries for several metres and our only chance was to see it cross a narrow track - it duly obliged albeit in quick mode. Lunch was taken by the sea with sightings of Crested Tern, Sooty Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper and Ruddy Turnstone. The campground is nearby and with permission from the owners we set off for a walk within the grounds. Firstly a Red-eared Fantail showed well on a cabin roof followed by a pair of Western Bristlebirds showing briefly by a grassy track. In this habitat of low scrub birds are hard to observe but we were fortunate today as Southern Emu Wren, Stubble and Brown Quails and White-browed Scrub Wren were to follow. Time was running away as we set off towards Albany the largest town in SW Western Australia. En route a party of Baudin's Black Cockatoos were observed feeding and calling along the main highway a fitting end to the day.
Mammals: Western Grey Kangaroo (50), Common Rabbit (2), Western Brush Wallaby (3)

October 9th: Albany, Two Peoples Bay, Oyster Harbour, Lake Seppings, The Gap
Daily 64, New 3, Running 214
Weather: Cloudy to start then sunny spells on a E wind 18C

Today was spent in and around Albany which has plenty of birding spots within easy driving distances. In the hotel grounds Common Bronzewing and Red Wattlebird were particularly numerous. Our first stop was on the coast at Two Peoples Bay nature reserve a beautiful and isolated area of woodland, beaches and cliffs. The car park had a pair of White-browed Scrubwrens, whilst offshore Flesh-footed Shearwaters and Australasian Gannets passed by. The wooded areas were very quiet so a visit to the museum was made with the history of Noisy Scrub Bird - fascinating. The group returned towards Albany stopping at various spots under the Oyster Harbour umbrella. The usual water birds were around plus our first Gilbert's Honeyeater of the tour. A visit to several more locations added nothing new of note so lunch was taken at Middleton Beach. Afterwards a visit to Lake Steppings where the open waters attracted Blue-billed and Musk Ducks and a group of Hoary-headed Grebes. Swamp Harriers were hunting over the reedbeds and flocks of Australian White and Straw-necked Ibis had nesting material for their colonies on the edge of the marsh. In the scrub surrounding the lake we finally caught up with Red-winged Fairywren. The ended with a seawatching session at The Gap with close views of gannets and shearwaters. The highlight for many of us was breaching Humpback and Sperm Whales just offshore. Frank and I called it a day just after 1600 hours and we headed back to base for some downtime.
Mammals: Western Grey Kangaroo (60), Humpback Whale (4), Sperm Whale (1)

October 10th: Albany, Porongurup, Rocky Gully, Denmark and Ocean Shores, William Bay, Lake Powell
Daily 69, New 3, Running 217
Weather: Sunny then cloudy in the afternoon on a brisk E wind 19C

After breakfast we headed towards the forest habitats of Porongurup. En route we caught up with a flock of Eastern Cattle Egrets a scarce species in this area of Australia. Arrived at Porongurup a beautiful forest of large trees and shrubs. Around the car park we were entertained by Rufous Treecreeper, White-browed Scrubwren, White-breasted Robins and New Holland Honeyeaters. A walk within the forest provided us with views of Western Whistler, Grey Fantail, Inland Thornbill, Gilbert's Honeyeater and Tree Martins. Next stop was the settlement of Rocky Gully which is a rather rundown farming area with plenty of scrap and poorly maintained houses. Our main aim was to see the highly endangered nominate race of Western Corella which duly obliged in a grassy field. Lunch was taken at Denmark a lovely town with a river of the same name. Ocean Shores is nearby an extensive area of estuary, sandbars and open ocean. The shallow waters attracted Great Egret, Pacific Reef Egret, White-faced Heron, Red-capped Plover, Great and Red Knots, Red-necked Stint, Crested and Fairy Terns and a single Eastern Osprey. In the fields which were flooded in places Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Australian White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis were particularly common. A diversion to William Bay added little apart from Sooty Oystercatcher, and offshore shearwaters and gannets (same species as yesterday). Lake Powell was the final destination where Red-winged and Splendid Fairywrens showed well along with Grey Fantails and a Western Gerygone. Tomorrow is our last full day in Western Australia as we travel north to Perth.

October 11th: Albany, Beaufort River, Gleneagles, Bungendore, Alfred Cove, Bold Park
Daily 81, New 3, Final 220
Weather: Sunny spells with occasional cloudy periods. E wind 23C

The final day in Western Australia started in Albany and slowly winded up to Perth. Although a travel day several stops were made for birding. On the Beaufort River good numbers of Grey Teal, Eurasian Coot, Western Gerygone and a singing Grey Shrike Thrush. A stop along the road gave us brief glimpses of a pair of Painted Button-quails. Near the town of Williams a further stop added Laughing Kookaburra, Western Wattlebird, Gilbert's Honeyeater, Western Whistler and Western Spinebills. At Gleneagles a rather run down nature reserve we had views of Inland and Western Thornbills, Brown Honeyeater and a few Red-tailed Black Cockatoos. Lunch was taken at Bungendore where the Australian Magpies attended the table looking for tit-bits. Afterwards a visit to Alfred Cove which is a part of Perth with many upmarket houses overlooking the waterfront. Thankfully most of the area is a protected one in the form of a nature reserve. A walk towards the shore added Grey Plover and a Pectoral Sandpiper which is an uncommon but annual visitor to the area. A sandbank proved attractive to Pied and Little Pied Cormorants, Australian Pelican, Black Swan, Crested, Fairy and Australian Gull-billed Terns, Great Crested and Hoary-headed Grebes. On the return walk at least four Eastern Ospreys over the sports ground. The last birding spot was Bold Park where the parking lot had Rainbow Lorikeets and Little Corellas. A walk up the hill was productive for an adult Shining Bronze Cuckoo and brief views of a male Painted Button-quail crossing the path. Later in the day we returned to the hotel for our last night in Australia. A few clients were going onto Tasmania an optional extension to the tour.

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