a good birding spot for the first territory on my site.  why kalbarri?  because we are spending easter there and a few days after.  a school holiday ritual when our young were fledging, this time in the territory as empty nest parents.  here’s my directions about how to get there and what’s about when you are

30 mar 13

perth to kalbarri

migration time – 7 hours including foraging stops.  kalbarri is the locale of many 1st term family holidays with fledglings, mostly spent at chinaman’s beach.  last of the summer heat.  some good birding to be done but it takes some perseverance

below is a typical journey, gps readings are eastings and northings.  1 unit = 1 m.  birdman said e & n were best units, i agree

gps what is there?
0381477 start of migration
6489614 end of the freeway.  a new experience, i haven’t been up the indian ocean drive, bottom to top
0374374 intersection where you lht on to wanneroo rd, the bottom end of the indian ocean drive.  rumoured to be few trucks – the line hauls have to use the brand or great northern highways
0373220 gravity centre on the right.  some people are way too serious.  438k to kalbarri
0366796 woodbridge estate on the left.  an early but failed rural sub division full of weirdos.  i know, i briefly had a holding here
0362538 bridge over the moore river, have looked hard here without great success.  looks better than what it is.  one of the few rivers in wa with water in it, sometimes
0355785 left to seabird.  its name get it into this record.  didn’t pull over this time but have seen Calyptorhynchus latirostris feeding low down on the corners.  see here for a salvo on the wisdom surrounding the fate of this bird.  also Calamanthus campestris.  bakery in town was good from memory
0345823 turn off to lancelin, no reason to go here
0324825 huge naked sand dune on the east.  comes out of nowhere looks fab, gonna take a pic on the way home
0322461 turn off to wedge island.  Good memories with birdman seeing Sterna doualli in breeding plumage, Limosa lapponica foraging on the shoreline, also Calamanthus campestris in the hinterland
0318751 turn off to pinnacles desert , nambung national park.  never been, never going
0315049 hill river, has it ever had water?
0311727 you can’t avoid going through jurien bay township, so pulled into caltex to fill up.  300k to go is the cheeriest thing I can say
0307799 rejoin the brand highway on a lht, and the long haul trucks.  it’s true, the indian ocean drive is truck free.  212k to go
0306239 turn left over the irwin river, has it ever had water?
0298972 bakery a short distance left on waldock st.  only average, the bakery in port denison  on the seaside is better.  186k to go
0283303 into the s bend, soon to be straightened.  must be for the convenience of the line haul trucks.  includes a bridge over the greenough river.  has it ever had water?
0267693 northhampton, plenty of effc champs from here.  murray wrenstead, paul haselby, daniel chimp, josie kennedy, harry taylor, merv carrot and probs a few more.  lht on to port gregory rd
0234257 rht from port gregory rd on to port grey rd.  marsh in front of the lake has been good for breeding Epthianura albifrons.  this will be my area of focus for this expedition
0219879 chinaman’s beach, now this is a special spot.  it is kalbarri.  The dunes are generally an excellent spot for Malurus leucopterus (leuconotus).  I am shooting for some good pics
6931587 end of migration

1 apr

a short side trip to a spot where i have enjoyed some success previously. northern side of kalbarri rd, my old notes suggest about 24k from the kalbarri esplanade.  a previous visit many years ago witnessed Lichenostomus penicillatus, Phylidonyris nigra and Acanthagenys rufogularis (winners) all fighting for foraging rights in the only euclalypt in blossom

got going about 5p.  depart from the start of kalbarri rd, cnr grey st on the murchison river esplanade.  (gps e0220723, n6932581)

within sight of the township, approx 3.5k e of the startpoint (gps e0223786, n6934126) is the following sign.IMG_6353  i’m not sure.  unlikely to be Leipoa ocellata here?  i should check with the rangers re any recent sightings, however the signs may be more accurate if they read “these birds used to live here but we killed them all and now there’s none left.”  i reckon the truth would have more conservation impact than pretending such abused species are still present

go past the turn off to the loop and z bend (gps e0230172, n6935077)

destination (gps e0240937, n6927248) is a rest stop/overnight camp

bit of a flop this time around.  a real shocker.  too many bush flies, past the unbearable threshold.  no birds to be heard.  the same eucalypt (pictured) is again the only one with blossom however the flowers look a couple of weeks past their most productive, and it seems of any interest to nectarivores.
a mystery why this small tree flowers solo.  a couple of Lichenostomus ornatus fly by, the only avian species seen at this supposedly top spot.  one of the superior attributes of birding over say, fishing.  you can see if your targets are about

2 apr

out of bed late.  there is a real tension between holiday laziness and birding.  my lifetime score would be about squits.  south to the pink lake IMG_6662where the german chemical company basf harvest beta carotene.  these things are always difficult to be sure about however there doesn’t seem to be any detrimental effects on bird life.  Cygnus atratus, Tadorna tadornoides, Himantopus himantopus, Cladorhychus leucocephalus, Recurvirostra novaehollandiae are about in good numbers.  some lingering Calidris ruficollis.  a few Charadrius ruficapillus.  no end of Hirundo nigricans and Hirundo neoxena.  closer to port gregory, Malurus leucopterus (eclipse) in abundance, Sericornis frontalis in the thickets.

Tringa glareola was seen.  IMG_6789 Anthus novaeseelandiae in the clear patches.  no sign of Epthianura albifrons.  the usual seabirds

3 apr

laziness wins again.  or is it the flies?  a late arvo exploratory drive into the farmland east of the kalbarri – port gregory rd.  von bibra rd (gps e0220429, n6914109), shows a bit of promise.  a couple of low flashes of green across the road, my guess Psephotus varius.   one of the farmers drives down to check I am not shooting with a rifle, fair enough.  left my run too late here, needs to be explored on foot.  one day

4 apr

another run to port gregory.IMG_7582  a few good sightings  Erythrogonys cinctus (gps e0220201, n6931570), Artamus cinereus, Falco berigora and Accipter fasciatus putting the wind up the jacksy of the local passerines.  got a bit hot so packed it in for chinaman’s beach.