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Western Australia

Western Whistler Pachycephala occidentalis ©Andy Walker Website

Western Australia covers an area larger than Western Europe. More than 500 bird species have been recorded including 18 endemics and 3 sub species that may be recognised as full species. There are many other near endemics, migratory species and other highly sought after species.

Birds Australia Western Australia is the local branch of the national Birds Australia organisation. The BAWA office is located at Peregrine House near Perry Lakes and it is open from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm on Monday to Friday. Birders visiting Perth should find the time to visit the office. There is an extensive range of WA country brochures complete with bird lists that are available for the cost of a small donation to cover the costs of reprinting. Alternatively, most of the bird guides can be downloaded from the BAWA website. BAWA has monthly meetings at the WA Ecology Centre, next to the office, at 7:30 pm usually on the 4th Monday of each month, and they organise many bird walks and campouts which are listed on the web site up to 3 months in advance.

There are two major web sites dedicated to the birds of Western Australia. The BAWA web site has been mentioned above. Frank O'Connor's Birding Western Australia has information on every species that has been recorded in WA, and the best birding sites in the state. There are some bird lists, and details of the pelagic trips that Frank organises from Perth between May and September. Allan Burbidge's Birds of Western Australia has information on a few birding sites, plus information about BAWA, the Broome Bird Observatory and the Eyre Bird Observatory.

Most birders enter Western Australia by flying to Perth. Perth has a surprising number of good birding sites within the metropolitan area or within a two-hour drive. The BAWA office sells a $1 booklet and a $5 book that cover most of the sites in the vicinity of Perth. There are a large number of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain including Lake Monger, Herdsman Lake, Bayswater Bird Sanctuary, Bibra Lake and Alfred Cove. Most of the southwest endemics can be found at Wungong Gorge and Bungendore State Forest in the Darling Range. Rottnest Island is worth a day trip, and Penguin Island is also worth a visit if you are in the Rockingham area.

The best birding areas in Western Australia are in the Kimberley in the far north of the state. Broome is outstanding for the waders, summer migrants and mangrove species and Kununurra is outstanding for the finches, parrots, honeyeaters and water birds. Derby is well worth a day visit from Broome, and Wyndham from Kununurra. The Kimberley coast is spectacular with up to an 11 metre tidal range and some isolated rainforest patches. The Kimberley Coastal Camp is an unforgettable place to visit.

Most of the Western Australian endemics occur in the southwest. A common itinerary is Perth to Dryandra State Forest, to Stirling Range National Park, to Fitzgerald River National Park, to Cheyne Beach and Waychinicup Nature Reserve near Albany, to Cape Leeuwin at Augusta via Mt Barker, Rocky Gully and Manjimup, to Cape Naturaliste and back to Perth. The Stirling Ranges National Park is another excellent area. The Mandurah and Pinjarra areas are very good especially in summer. Further to the south east there are excellent birding opportunities from Hyden to Norseman, Esperance and the Eyre Bird Observatory.

Another common itinerary north of Perth is Perth to Kalbarri National Park, to Monkey Mia at Shark Bay, to Carnarvon, back to Geraldton and across to Cue via Yalgoo and Mt Magnet, and back to Perth via Payne's Find and Wubin. There are very good birding areas in the Pilbara such as Port Hedland, Millstream Chichester National Park, Karajini National Park and Cape Range near Exmouth.

Top Sites

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Sightings

Click 'Get Birds Seen' to see a map with map pins on locations of the latest recorded sightings of rare or unusual birds.

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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 561

State Bird - Black Swan Cygnus atratus

Endemics

Number of endemics: 18

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris Western Corella Cacatua pastinator Red-capped Parrot Purpureicephalus spurius Western Rosella Platycercus icterotis Western Ground Parrot Pezoporus flaviventris Noisy Scrub-bird Atrichornis clamosus Red-winged Fairywren Malurus elegans Black Grasswren Amytornis housei Western Spinebill Acanthorhynchus superciliosus Kimberley Honeyeater Meliphaga fordiana Western Wattlebird Anthochaera lunulata Swan River Honeyeater Melithreptus chloropsis Western Bristlebird Dasyornis longirostris Western Thornbill Acanthiza inornata Dusky Gerygone Gerygone tenebrosa White-breasted Robin Eopsaltria georgiana Red-eared Firetail Stagonopleura oculata

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist for Ashmore Reef and Cartier Islands

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Birding Sites Around Perth

by R Van Delft 1997 University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, WA.

ISBN: 1876268034

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Eucla Division of Western Australia

GM Storr Series: RECORDS OF THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM, SUPPLEMENTS 27 78 pages, illus. Western Australian Museum

ISBN: 63912

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the South-Eastern Interior of Western Australia

GM Storr Series: RECORDS OF THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM, SUPPLEMENTS 26 60 pages, 1 map. Western Australian Museum

ISBN: 2047

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Fieldguides, CDs etc.

For general guides to Australia as a whole please see the Fatbirder Australia page

Handbook to the Birds of Western Australia, Volume 1: Non-Passerines: Emu to Dollarbird

Ron Johnstone and GM Storr Series: HANDBOOK TO THE BIRDS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA 436 pages, col plates, illus, tabs. Western Australian Museum

ISBN: 0730712087

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Handbook to the Birds of Western Australia, Volume 2

RE Johnstone and GM Storr Series: HANDBOOK TO THE BIRDS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA 529 pages, col plates, b/w line illus. Western Australian Museum

ISBN: 1920843116

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

Motto

Western Australia's state motto is Cygnis Insignis, which translates as distinguished by its swans

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Coates Wildlife Tours

Tour Operator

Since 1980, when naturalist, Kevin Coate founded Coates Wildlife Tours and pioneered the inception of nature -based tours in Western Australia, Coates Wildlife Tours have offered tours that let you experience nature in small groups and allow plenty of time and flexibility to pursue individual interests. Our relaxed itineraries offer in depth interpretation of the natural world with minimal negative impact on the environment.

Gondwana Connections Wildlife Tours

Tour Operator

We at Gondwana Connection have a particular interest in nocturnal species, so are only too pleased to offer NIGHT SPOTTING as part of our tours when ever possible...

John Young Wildlife Tours - Kimberley

Tour Operator

Journey through the heart of Australia`s last frontier - The Kimberley region of W.A - discovering World Heritage-listed wilderness areas, ancient cultures, pristine natural landscapes, and abundant bird-life, flora and fauna. Special scenic highlights will include the Bungle Bungles, Mitchell Plateau, Broome, Litchfield National Park, Lake Argyle and more…

Kimberley Birdwatching

Tour Operator

Kimberley Birdwatching is based in Broome, which is situated in the southwest corner of the Kimberley division. The Kimberley is one of the most exciting and least explored regions for the birdwatcher and naturalist. Our tours also cover the Northern Territory. This company is owned and operated by George Swann (what a great name for a birder) and a jolly nice fella he is too. He will be desperately disappointed if he can`t get you the bird you are after and will turn out for an extra half day or evening to try again. Highly recomended by the Fat Birder!

Lake Argyle Cruises

Boat Trips

…an ideal habitat for almost one third of Australia's bird species. Flocks of dancing Brolgas, Australia's only stork, the Jabiru, the magestic White-bellied Sea Eagle and rare species such as the Yellow Chat and Purple-crowned Fairy Wren, are just some of the birds to be seen…

Perth Pelagics

Boat Trips

See details of next trip out…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2012 [08 August] - Bruce Wedderburn - Gibb River Road

Report

…we found some good birds including Black-breasted Buzzard, Mangrove Golden Whistler, Red-headed Myzomela, Square-tailed Kite, Brolga, Asian Dowitcher and Broad-billed Sandpiper…

2012 [08 August] - Julian Bell - Natural Born Birder

Report

White-tailed Tropicbird - understandably the birding highlight of the trip…

2012 [11 November] - Philip Maher

Report

…Other refugees from the inland included black-tailed native-hen and spotted crake. These lakes are also good for blue-billed, musk and pink-eared ducks and great crested grebes…

2012 [11 November] - Philip Maher - Beechworth - Hattah/Kulkyne NP

Report

…There were quite a few king parrots about and plenty of immature satin bowerbirds. Gang-gang cockatoos, however, were much scarcer than on prior visits, with us seeing only one bird briefly. Eastern spinebills and yellow-faced honeyeaters were about the town. Jack is pursuing world families so we headed to Mt Pilot to get him a quail-thrush. Conditions looked good as we drove into the ranges. We were soon stopping for birds that included yellow-tufted, fuscous, black-chinned and brown-headed honeyeaters as well as restless and leaden flycatchers, olive-backed orioles with a nest, and a bevy of other species…

2013 [01 January] - Brendan Threlfall

Report PDF

…Highlights were Hoode d Plover bree ding on the beach from the Thomas River mouth; Black -faced Cormorant offshore and on the Thomas River itself; and a Southern Emu Wren near the fee station for the Thomas River part of the park. Brown Falcon, Brush Bronzewing, Red-capped Parrot also recorded. We also had a memorable encounter with a Western Tiger Snake!…

2013 [06 July] - Janene Luff - Kununurra in the Kimberley

Report

…After a post-lunch rest we ambled along the walking path sighting dazzling Crimson, Chestnut-breasted and Star Finches, Grey-crowned Babblers, Restless Flycatchers, Rufous-throated Honeyeaters, Striated Pardalotes, Bar-shouldered and Peaceful Doves, Whistling Kite and the Caspian Tern's red beak glowed in the last glow of the purple and green hills….

2013 [10 October] - By David Bishop

Report PDF

…Of the 189 species we recorded on this trip, 102 can be found nowhere in the world but Australia. Of that total we recorded 17 species endemic to just the southwest of Australia including such gems as the gorgeous Red-capped Parrot, Western Rosella, Western Bristlebird, Western (Thick-billed) Grasswren, Blue-breasted and Red-winged fairywrens, and the very handsome Red-eared Firetail. We also saw some great mammals including the adorable Quokka, Dugong, and Western Gray Kangaroo…

2013 [10 October] - Pete Morris

Report PDF

…The total of around 316 species was no doubt respectable but unimportant. What really counted is that just about every major target species was seen, and nearly all of them were seen very well…

2014 [05 May] - Colin Reid - South-west Western Australia

Report

...We walked down the track towards the dam seeing several species as we went – White-browed Scrub-wren, Golden and Rufous Whistlers, Grey Shrike Thrush, Grey Fantail, Weebills were common along with White-cheeked and New Holland Honeyeaters in the low scrub bordering the track at the start. Once among the trees we found a pair of Western Spinebills that showed well and our second lifer....

2015 [06 June] - David & Vicki Bryant - The Kimberley

Report PDF

The Kimberley lies in the extreme north of Western Australia between Broome-Derby and Kununurra. It is within the Tropics and experiences two main seasons, a wet and a dry; each lasting six months. It is during the dry that most visitors arrive because the weather is good and the unsealed roads are usually open.

2015 [11 November] - Chris Lotz

PDF Report

...Bill then started scouting King’s Park & Botanic Garden, finding Red Wattlebird to be one of the most common and conspicuous species, especially around the flowering Banksia. Chris arrived at the airport around lunch time, picked up the rental car and drove through the rather smart-looking city of Perth, and eventually arrived at the hotel, very quickly checked in, and immediately dragged Bill back out birding...

2016 [12 december] - Raoul Beunen & Marije Louwsma

PDF Report

Birdlist and logistics etc.

Organisations

BirdLife Australia Western Australia

Website

BirdLife Western Australia covers the entire state of Western Australia, as well as Cocos (Keeling) Island, Christmas Island and Ashmore Reef….

Observatories

Broome Bird Observatory

Observatory

Satellite View

Established by Birds Australia in 1988 as a centre for research and conservation, Broome Bird Observatory welcomes visitors from the world over. The Broome area has a current list in excess of 320 species. The bird observatory is ideally placed on the shores of Roebuck Bay and is well known for its huge concentrations of migratory waders. The bush birding is also excellent and the nearby mangroves hold good numbers of mangrove specialities, as well as one WA endemic, dusky gerygone. The nearby plains are outstanding for variety of species and hold good numbers of speciality species, the main target being yellow chat, which is evident year round. The observatory is a great place to stay and has basic, but comfortable accomodation and campsites. It also has a well equipped kitchen and shadehouse for the use of staying guests. The atmosphere is very relaxed and there are a range of tours available to try and connect with many target species…

Eyre Bird Observatory

Observatory

Satellite View

Eyre Bird Observatory is situated in the wilderness of Nuytsland Nature Reserve, nestled among the mallees (small multi-stemmed gum trees) and sand dunes 50 km from Cocklebiddy Roadhouse (on the Eyre Highway) and one kilometre from the sea to the south. The observatory and its surrounds provide a sense of isolation and adventure and a base from which to relax and watch birds or simply appreciate nature in a wilderness setting. Accommodation is simple and comfortable with a peaceful and timeless atmosphere…

Museums

Macquarie University

Course

Macquarie is at the forefront of Earth and environmental science study, both in Australia and internationally. Our degrees give you the skills to make practical, positive change in areas like conservation, resource management, sustainability, development and planning.…

Reserves

National Parks

Website

But how do you decide where to go first in a State that covers a third of Australia? Most of WA`s spectacular natural features are managed by the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM); and we`ve used our local knowledge to put together information on national parks, marine parks, reserves and State forests to help you plan your trip.

Pinjarra & Lake McLarty Nature Reserve Birding Sites

Information

Satellite View

Key Species : Freckled Duck (small chance), Northern Shoveler (long shot), Chestnut Teal (good chance), Australasian Bittern (long shot), Glossy Ibis (good chance), White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Spotless Crake (chance), Black-tailed Godwit (good chance), Wood Sandpiper (good chance), Asian Dowitcher (long shot), Little Stint (chance), Long-toed Stint (good chance), Pectoral Sandpiper (good chance), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Ruff (good chance), Banded Stilt (good chance), Red-necked Avocet, Little Ringed Plover (long shot), Red-kneed Dotterel, Whiskered Tern (good chance), White-winged Black Tern (chance), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (introduced - good chance), Regent Parrot (good chance), Elegant Parrot (chance), Yellow-throated Miner, White-fronted Chat, White-winged Triller (good chance), Yellow Wagtail (long shot), Rufous Songlark (chance), Brown Songlark…

Other Links

Birds Australia Western Australia - Special Interest Groups

Website

A vital part of maintaining global biodiversity is conservation of wild birds and natural habitats. This requires a thorough understanding of birds through studying their biology and ecosystems they inhabit, monitoring their conservation status, and education of the community…

Birds of Western Australia

Website

This web site has been developed to make available to you information about the birds and their habitats in the state of Western Australia. It gives details about our organisation's activities including our outstanding series of local bird guides, program of bird walks, weekend camps, monthly meetings and research projects. BAWA has an active program of community participation providing talks, guided walks and activities for the general public…

Frank O'Connors Birding Western Australia

Website

Not only is this site Fatbirder recommended, but it is one of the leading area websites for birders in the world! This site contains information on where to find the birds of Western Australia. There is a list of the best birding sites and brief descriptions for each species. Frank organises a few pelagic boat trips from Hillarys Boat Harbour in Perth between May and September to look for seabirds. There are also some birding articles, trip reports, bird lists, photos that Frank has taken, a list of birding tour operators in WA, a list of references for WA birds and sites, and links to other birding and non birding web sites.

Movements and Genetics of Grey Falcons

Website

A project by Jonny Schoenjahn - Perth, Western Australia. The Grey Falcon is one of Australia's rarest, and no doubt its least studied, birds of prey. One of the reasons for that deficiency is the remoteness of the Grey Falcon's preferred habitat together with the species' scarcity, making data collection slow and tedious…

Pinjarra & Lake McLarty Nature Reserve Birding Sites

Website

Lake McLarty is about 21.5km from the traffic lights at the intersection of South West Highway and Pinjarra Road. Continue south along South West Highway for 5.5km and turn right at Old Bunbury Road…

Western Wildlife

Website

Welcome to the homepage of Western Wildlife. We are a small ecological consultancy based in Perth, Western Australia, offering the following services: Fauna Studies, Bird Surveys, Field Work, Research Assistance. On this site you will also find a wealth of information about Western Australian Wildlife and the Frogs of Western Australia.

Wild & Endangered

Website

Welcome. This website is primarily dedicated to native birds of Australia …though I may have strayed into other areas. It is a work-in-progress, so watch this space as I add more photos, blogs, resources and information on Australian birds and other little critters…

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Janet Flinn - Australian Bird and Wildlife Art

Gallery

Janet Flinn's Bird Paintings, Drawings and Reproduction Prints capture the colorful beauty and charm of the unique Australian birds and animals, including many that are endangered in their natural habitat…

Photographer - Marcel de Jong

Gallery

Ospreys of Cottesloe, Western Australia…