Date Morning Afternoon 6th August 2006 Stop at Singapour Airport Visit of Perth city 7th August 2006 Visit of Kings Park NP with Shirley Krajewski that we met thanks to birds-pix forum. The weather was not so good but we saw some interresting birds like Varied Sitella, Western Gerygone... Kings Park Road to Gingin We stayed for the night at Gingin with Shirley and her husband Andy. At sunset, we went to the center of the village to see hundreds of Short-billed Black-Cockatoo return to the dormitories in the trees. It was a very nice end to the day! 8th August 2006
- Before leaving Shirley and Andy we saw the Splendid Fairywren in their garden in the sunlight, really splendid! A common Yellow-rumped Thornbill nested really close to the house too. Then we did some shopping in Gingin and some nice birding: striated Pardalote near its nest, Western Corella, the first New Holland Honeyeater...
- Then we drove in the direction of Kalbarri.
- We stopped at Coomaloo Creek for lunch. A nice place difficult to leave but we had 500 km to do: we saw Western Ringneck nesting and our first Weebill and Red-capped Robin.
- In the afternoon we made a small stop in Geraldton. Just before the town we saw the famous Leaning Trees. We arrived late in the evening at Kalbarri.
9th August 2006 In the morning we walked around Red Bluff. Not a lot of birds but a nice place. However we saw a fantastic parad of two Little Eagles some Pacific Gulls in different plumage with their strange bills.We ate in a place close to the mouth of the Murchison River. On the track to Z Bend & The Loop we saw the very strange Thorny Devil lezard. These two sites are very beautifull. We went for a small walk at the end of the afternoon to The Loop. 10th August 2006
- We had breakfast at Meanarra Hill to see the sunrise. Then before leaving Kalbarri, we visited Hawks Head, another very beautifull viewpoint of the gorges of the Murchison River. We had a very nice view of the Variegated Fairywren. We stopped at Murchison River Bridge too for a small walk and to see some interresting birds: Little Corella, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill and a very confident Brown Falcon on the Road.
- At the end of the morning, We drove in the direction of Shark Bay.
- We picniced at Billabon Roadhouse where we were disturbed by several birds: Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Crested Bellbird and a few others...
- At the end of the afternoon we visited Hamelin Bay for the Stromatolites although the tide coming in.
- We had a nice diner in Denham at the Old Pealer Restaurant, built with the shell of Hamelin Bay.
11th August 2006
- We started the day at the very touristic place of Monkey Mia. On the road between Denham and Monkey Mia we stopped to see the wonderfull White-winged Fairywren. We almost missed 3 Emus passing just behind us!
- Monkey Mia is famous for its Bottle-nose Dolphins which come to the beach to be in contact with human beeings fed. However it's really wild Dolphins which have been coming here for more than 40 years, generation after generation, and it's quite nice to see...
- Then we took the Explorer's Walk Trail for birding. The Tick-billed Grasswren is fairly common and we had some really nice sights of it. Along the beach we had the surprise of seeing some Rays.
- We had lunch at Little Lagon where we saw almost nothing (no waders) except some wrens and gulls of course.
- We drove in Francois Perron NP to Big Lagoon but we arrived a little bit late to have enough time to visit the place properly. On the track, we saw our first Pinecone Lizard.
- At the end of the day we saw a few Tick-billed Grasswrens again near the Visitors Centre.
12th August 2006 Although it was a day with a lot of kilometers to do (550 km), we made a first stop at Eagle Bluff. Nice place where we looked for Dungongs without any success... We picniced just after Carnavon and we arrived in the afternoon at Coral Bay where we booked a cruise for the next day. 13th August 2006 We took the Manta Ray tour of Coral Bay Ecotour. We swam behind several Manta Ray which is quite exhausting for a human! We did some snokeling on the reef too and we were lucky enough to see several Humpack Whales for several minutes and a few pelagic birds: Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Huttons Shearwater.
- In the middle of the afternoon, we drove to Cape Range National Park. We stopped to admire several Sturt's Desert Peas (Clianthus formosus), a specific flower of Western Australia.
- We wanted to camp in the Park but unfortunatly all the places were booked. Fortunatly we found a place in a camp site just before the parc...
14th August 2006
- At the beginning of the morning we planned a small cruise on the Yardie Gorge River on the other side of the Park. On the road just after the camp site we saw several Australian Bustards, one flying finally just above us. The cruise was nice with beautifull landscapes and several interresting birds like Eastern Reef-Egret, White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Little Woodswallow and with a good sight of a Black-flanked Rock Wallaby.
- At the end of the morning we drove to North Mandu Beach where we swam before lunch.
- Then, we visited the Mandu Gorge. In the first part on the ridge we saw no bird on the contrary in the Gorge itself birds were numerous: Grey-headed Honeyeaters, Western Bowerbirds, Mistletoebird... A couple of Nankeen Kestrel sang all evening and mated several times.
- When we arrived at the car we met and discussed a little bit with three nice English people who have lived in Australia for Years. After a drink we came back to the camp site slowly to avoid any collision with all the Kangaroos! This evening was really nice with our first view of an Echidna!
15th August 2006
- We started the day at Mangrove Bay still in Cape Range NP. It's a very nice birding place where we saw in few minutes the Grey Fantail and the Mangrove Grey Fantail. Among other species, we saw more than 50 Yellow White-eyes, some waders and a nice Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo.
- After more time than expected, we drove to Exmouth for lunch and supplies.
- Before leaving Cape Range, we visited Shothole Canyon. This area doesn't seem very interesting but the track itself allows you to see some very nice scenary.
- When we came back to the main road, still driving on the track, I saw a strange white tip in the sea twice. A check with binoculars confirmed that I had seen a Humpback Whale breach! Unfortunatly we had a lot of kilometers to do before night as we had planned to sleep in Carnavon. We arrived just before the sunset and there was so much wind that we decided to sleep in a Motel...
16th August 2006 We wanted to leave the coast for the outback. Our first idea was to drive to Cue but the tracks East of Carnavon were so surprising that we finally only arrived in Meekatharra very late in the evening! On the first part on the Carnavon Mullewa Road, we felt that our first schedule seemed unrealistic: birds where everywhere. I suppose it's because the area had had some rain a few days or a few hours before? Just after leaving Carnavon, we saw a hundred or more Chiming Wedgebills together.Whistling Kites were numerous. After 10 o'clock, each pond we encountered was extremely interresting. In the first one we saw a few Spinifex Pigeons and hundreds of Zebra Finches drinking. We took our lunch near Dalgety Downs where the road crosses the river Dalgety Brook. The River was dry but the quantity and diversity of the birds was amazing! A lot of Budgerigars nest here, as well as do Galah and Red-backed Kingfisher... A few kilometers away we found an other ponds with other species like Cockatiel and Australian Hobby: it was 4 PM and we had only done half of the road to Meekatharra! So we really needed to drive faster although we stopped at least for Diamond Doves on the track and few other things! We arrived at night in Meekatharra, but not to late to eat fortunatly. 17th August 2006 Early in the morning, we drove to Nallan Station. We made a short stop at Lake Annean but we did not take the time to look cautiously at all the water birds as we were more interrested in the Bush birds. At the end of the morning, we pitched our tent before walking around: Zebra Finches Mulga Parrot nested here... After lunch, we took a track of the property in the South direction. In spite of the map we eventually got lost and we arrived at sunset in Cue! Nevertheless, Nallan Station is reputed for its birds, and that was indeed correct in our case: Southern Whiteface, Banded Whiteface, Stubble Quail, Black Honeyeater, Crimson Chat, Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush and a lot of others... 18th August 2006
- In the morning, we took another track. The most remarkable observations where Pied Honeyeater singing, White-browed Babbler and Grey Shrike-thrush at close range. When we went back to the house, we found the Western Bowerbird near its bower very exciting: a female approached and visited it and we were lucky to see the parade for more than 10 minutes but without any good conclusion for the owner...
- We left again for a last loop: after the pleasant sight of a Sacred Kingfisher we finally found almost at the end track one of the birds we wanted to see: Bourkes Parrot!
- Then, we left Nallan Station for "Peynes Find" not without seeing a couple of light phase Brown Falcon. We stopped for a few minutes at Lake Austin where hundreds of Banded Stilts were feeding!
- We pitched our tent close to the station and we drove for a few kilometers along the Mouroubra Road which allowed us to see our first Common Bronzewing... and a unknown couple of parrots flying in front of us which reminded me the Scarlet-chested Parrot but as its a very rare species I thought I wrongly identified it. The very strange thing is that when I discussed this observation with Franck O'Connor he told me that he had a similar experience in the same area in August 2005!
19th August 2006 It was a transition day with more than 500 kilometers to drive. We took Mouroubra Road which was less interesting than expected. However, we saw our first and last Red Kangaroo on this track. Moreover, it was raining when we arrived near Cleary. Finally, we didn't find any place at Dryandra Village but fortunatly, we were able to book a cottage for the next 2 nights in the village. For that evening, we were obliged to find a bed in Narrogin. 20th August 2006 In the morning the road to Dryandra Village from Narrogin was full of birds : we saw Elegant Parrots, Regent Parrots, Banded Lapwing, White-shouldered Triller, Grey Currawong... The morning walk in the forest was very nice and we saw a lot of new species like Rufous Treecreeper, White-naped Honeyeater, Scarlet Robin, Jacky Winter. We were even very lucky to see and take pictures of Painted Buttonquail. In the forest, the Western Grey Kangaroo were numerous and confident with humans. At the end of our loop we found a Numbat and although we were very hungry we spent several minutes observing this nice animal.
- In the afternoon we discovered several areas of the Dryandra Forest which still had some new species for us like Western Thornbill, Red-capped Parrot, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Western Spinebill.
- After diner we walked around the cottage to find some animals thanks to a spot light. We saw some Common Brushtail Possums. Then we took the car and we drove very slowly around the village. Of course we saw a lot of Wallabies and we were almost certain we saw two of the rare Woylie!
21th August 2006 We took the direction to Albany late in the morning. We stopped for lunch on a track near Cranbrook with a nice veiw of the West part of the Stirling Ranges.
- Before reaching Albany, we crossed the Porongurup NP and we went for a short walk around Castle Rock. Unfortunatly, we didn't have enough time to discover this site in detail. However we saw for the first time the White-breasted Robin, one of the endemic birds of the South part of Western Australia.
- We arrived in the evening in Albany where we had booked a cottage for 4 nights "Coraki Holiday Cottages". This nice place is well situated and allows you to move easily and in a short time to all the main sites around Albany.
22th August 2006
- Two people Bay is well known for 3 endemic species very rare and very hard to see. We went to this place with the hope of seeing at least one of them even if we didn't want to spend hours trying! When we arrived we effectively heard a few Noisy Srub-birds but to hear doesn't mean to see and of course we never saw any bird...
- Then we went to "Little Beach" where we walked around. We are almost sure to have seen a Western Bristlebird crossing the a track just in front of us but unfortunately the observation was too quick to be sure... At the end, except for a lot of New Holland Honeyeater and one Sooty Oystercatcher we saw very few birds. Fortunatly the the place is really beautiful.
- Before we left the place, we visited the Visitors Centre which was closed. We did another small walk around before going back to Albany for some lunch and supplies.
After lunch, we drove to Waychinicup National Park. We had a nice view of a Square-tailed Kite above the meadows just before we arrived. We also saw a Pallid Cuckoo, an uncommon bird for this site. Like in Two People Bay, we saw very few species of birds except the most common like Silver Gull, White-browed Scrubwren, and in the darkness our first Brush Bronzewing. 23th August 2006 Early in the morning, we drove to the Stirling Ranges National Park.We started our discovery with the Ongarup Creek Walk advised in F. O'Connor website. Purple-crowned Lorikeets were all around the parking. As we started to walk, we saw in less than 10 minutes an incredible diversity of birds of pray: Little Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Spotted Harrier and Square-tailed Kite! A little bit further, we found on the track our first orchids and probably the most beautiful of the 8 species we saw: the White Spider Orchid. After an area of Mallee, we entered into the forest where we had some interresting sights of birds like: Purple-crowned Lorikeets and Tree Martin in the nest in holes in the trees, Golden Whistler, Scarlet Robin, Dusky Woodswallow. We also found 3 other species of orchids
- After lunch we visited Bluff Knoll for the lookout. On the way back to the main road we met a couple who were looking for orchids too! This meeting allowed us too see 4 others species on a very restricted area along the road!
- Then we decided to cross the Stirling Ranges slowly by the track which goes to the West of the Park for about 40 kilometers. The landscapes were wonderfull and we saw some nice birds again like the Tawny-crowned Honeyeater in good conditions for the first time.
24th August 2006
- One reason for staying 4 nights in the same place was to be sure to join a pelagic boat Cruise. Again, thanks to F. O'Connor, we chose the Spinners Charters Fishing Cruise as our planning was not compatible with the trip organized by Franck.
- Just before passing the Flinders Peninsula, the captain stopped the boat in order to attract the Albatrosses around. The light was terrific and I made some very nice pictures of Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses.
- Then, during the day we anchored at 2 different places 16 kilometers from the coast. The depth of the sea was around 70 meters. As soon as the boat stopped, the 5 fishermen with us started to fish and the first fish came up very very fast. The diversity and abundance of fish was quite incredible. Except 2 species, all the fish were kept in order to be consumed later by their owner. As we were able to cook too, we tried this pleasant activity. At the end my wife caught one of the rarest and finest fish: a Dhufish...
- However, the main reason for the trip was to see pelagic birds and the result was quite good: after the first and very common Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses and Australasian Gannet from the beginning, Brown Skua, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Southern Giant-Petrel came around the boat when the boat stopped. A few minutes later, a Shy Albatross flew around the boat several time. Later we also saw a Great-winged Petrel and again two other species of Albatross : an immature Salvin's Albatross and an immature Black-browed Albatross.
- Finally, as we approached the harbour we were lucky to see 2 and later 3 Southern Right Whales. The Captain stopped the boat and the Whales decided to come almost in contact with it. An amazing memory....
25th August 2006
- Today we drove to Manjimup. Along the road before Denmark we found a really interresting small pond with one Yellow-billed Spoonbill and one White-necked Heron.
- Then, we visited the Valley of the Giants. The attraction of this place is a footbridge of more than 700m as high as 40meters and some old trees with very big holes in them. We saw our first Red-winged Fairywren in this place.
- We picniced near Crytal Springs with some Dhufish...
- Then, as it was not possible to cross the D'Entrecasteaux NP, we decided to go to the Lake Muir by the Fernhook Falls.
- The level of water in the Lake was very low and so, the site was not as interresting as we expected, except for White-faced Heron: we counted 115!
26th August 2006
- From Manjimup, we took a road to the West to visit a place called: One Tree Bridge and the forest around. Until 1966, the road crossed a river thanks to a bridge built with a single tree. This bridge is still visible today. Then we walked until the 4 Aces, 4 very tall trees aligned. Birds were quite secretive in the place.
- On the road to reach Cape Leeuwin, we stopped to admire 2 Long-billed Black-Cockatoos.
- Cape Leeuwin is well known as one of the main site for Rock Parrots. The birds are not always near the lighthouse but we were lucky to find 11 of them just after we arrived. We saw a Humpback whale jumping out of the water for several minutes too: a very nice show!
- After lunch, we pitched our tent in Augusta.
- Then we drove to Hamelin Bay. When we arrived a flock of Long-billed Black-Cockatoos crossed the road just in front of us and landed in the bush close to the road. We spent severals minutes looking at them before reaching the beach.Sooty Oystercatcher and Hooded Plover were present. We came back to Augusta after a nice sunset.
27th August 2006
- The day started with a view of Dolphins from the camp site! We visited one of the numerous caves in the area: Lake Cave. Then we stopped briefly in Ellensbrook Homestead before reaching Gracetown. We walked along a river with the hope of seeing some Firetails but without any success. However we had the chance to observe a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo and of some Red-capped Plovers on the beach.
We drove to Dunsborough for the night and we finished the day around Sugar Rocks where we saw some Whales again. 28th August 2006
- We started with a walk around the lighthouse of Cape Naturaliste. In the parking we found a family of Splendid Fairywren very confident and ever so splendid! We joined a lookout from where it was easy to sea a colony of Australian Fur-Seal: we counted almost 100 animals.The place allowed us to see another Shining Bronze-Cuckoo one Square-tailed Kite and some whales again but quiet far away. Before leaving, we stopped briefly at Eagle Bay.
- We ate quickly near Busselton after a small detour in order to see the impressive wood pier of 1845 meters long.
- Then we reached a swamp area to the North: the Ludlow State Forest. This place allowed us to complete our list of birds as it was our first humid area since Perth: Swamp Harrier, Pink-eared Duck, Musk Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Grey Teal, and some unshy Western Grey Kangaroo...
- Then, we drove to Armadale for our last night.
29th August 2006 Wungong Dam offered a nice place close to the airport for finishing our trip. It was our last chance to see the endemic Firetails but we didn't see any in the end... However, we saw our first Brown Goshawk, some Common Bronzewing, one Pallid Cuckoo, some Scarlet Robin and a group of feral pigs! Our flight to France took place on time in the middle of the afternoon...