Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Around Oz Part 25 - Perth and Surrounds - A City of Ducks and Flowers

Carnaby's Cockatoo
After leaving the town of Cervantes on the Turquoise Coast (see last post) we headed south-east, seeing a few small groups of Western Corella fleetingly west of Moora. We visited the historic town of New Norcia, then moved on to the Avon Valley and Toodyay, where a group of Carnaby's Cockatoos was feeding on marri nets roadside. The birds were tearing off the ends of the marri nuts to eat. A closely related species, Baudin's Cockatoo, uses its longer bill to extract the contents of the nuts.

Carnaby's Cockatoo

New Norcia
We spent the night in Northam before heading down to Perth for a five-night stay in the nicely located Central Caravan Park. There is a huge change in temperature between the coast and even a short distance inland - Northam, for instance, is 80km from Perth but it was zero there in the early morning; much warmer in Perth.

A pleasant walk from the caravan park took us along the banks of the Swan River through some nice parkland and bushland. I lived in Perth for three years and have been back several times since.

Australasian Shoveler
Australasian Shoveler was among the birds seen; some of the ducks in the many wetlands in Perth are much rarer and shyer in south-east Queensland.

We visited Lake Herdsman, where several male Musk Ducks were in full display mode, although the female was a tad less exciting.

Musk Duck male

Musk Duck male

Musk Duck female
Herdsman and nearby Lake Monger are just two of many fine wetlands in the Perth metropolitan area; both are close to the CBD. When I lived in Perth, I frequently visited these lakes and surveyed Herdsman for several months. On this visit, Blue-billed Ducks were numerous on both lakes.

Herdsman Lake

Lake Monger & Perth CBD

Blue-billed Duck

Blue-billed Duck
Pacific Black Duck family
Australian Shelduck
More common waterfowl, such as Pacific Black Duck and Australian Shelduck, were about, and there were good numbers of Hoary-headed, Australasian and Great Crested Grebes.

Hoary-headed Grebe
While cruising around Perth it was nice to revisit old haunts such as Pelican Point at Nedlands and Swanbourne Beach. The downside was to see how the inner suburbs of Perth have been swamped by expensive parking meters.
Another interesting bird sighting was a flock of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos in the Signal Hill Reserve in the Perth suburb of Cloverdale.

Pelican Point
We visited Kings Park, an extensive bushland reserve on the edge of the CBD. The wildflowers were looking good, as they have been on this trip all the way from the Pilbara.

Kings Park
A nice show in the park was a Western Spinebill, another SW WA endemic.

Western Spinebill


  1. Great sightings and it is so nice to get a glimpse of New Norcia again too.
    Perth has a coastal climate influenced by the sea, the further inland one goes in the winter, the more exposed one is to the much colder continental climate.
    My sister lived in Perth for a few years too and I loved visiting and still love the place.

  2. Yep, Perth was my home for three years and I remain very fond of the place

  3. great photos; a nice variety of locations and birdlife ...

  4. Greg, did you manage to see any Mute Swans at Northam or have they now completely disappeared ?

  5. I had a bit of a look and didn't see any, but didn't try very hard.... there were Mute Swans in an enclosure by the weir

  6. Peter Valentine9 August 2014 at 11:46

    Looking forward to your next posts Greg. I leave Perth tomorrow but back in a couple of weeks.

  7. Thanks Peter. I seen that you also have been enjoying yourself over here.

  8. Bonitas fotografías, buen blog. Un saludo desde España.
    Fauna Compacta blogspot

  9. Thanks Greg, we'll be sure to check out Herdsman Lake and Lake Monger next time we are in Perth.