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.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Around Oz Part 20 – East Pilbara: Cape Keraudren

White-breasted Whistler
After leaving  Broome (see last post) and the Kimberley, we headed south through the East Pilbara for a two-night stay at Cape Keraudren, a coastal reserve at the southern end of Eighty-Mile Beach where a beachside camping ground is run by the local council. Leaving this region we farewelled the small, red-bellied race of Grey-crowned Babbler, which was numerous in the north.

Grey-crowned Babbler

Cape Keraudren, looking north 
From our camper van, we had sweeping views north across reef flats to a sandy beach stretching to the distant horizon.

Cape Keraudren, looking south
To the south was a rugged, jagged coastline of ancient coral and limestone. The overall effect was quite stunning. This is an extraordinary spot with great beauty.
Campsite Cape Keraudren

White-breasted Whistler
In the mangroves, White-breasted Whistler and Mangrove Golden Whistler appeared to be quite numerous, along with Yellow White-eye and Mangrove Fantail. The mangrove birds were seen on occasion to leave the mangroves to forage in more open habitat.  Horsfield’s Bushlark was common in the grassland, where a Swamp Harrier was also seen. 

Mangrove Golden Whistler
On the coral cliffs was a mixed nesting colony of Lesser Crested Terns and Crested Terns, with both species appearing to have recently fledged young.

Crested Tern at rookery

Lesser Crested Tern at rookery
Lesser Crested & Crested Tern
The two tern species were often at roost together. Plenty of waders were about, including resident Beach Stone-Curlew and Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers.

Beach Stone-Curlew

Sooty Oystercatcher

Other birds included both phases of Eastern Reef-Egret,and Striated Herons that appeared to be unusually orange in colour.

Striated Heron

Migratory waders included Large Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Red-necked Stint, Grey-tailed Tattler, Ruddy Turnstone and Whimbrel.

Large Sand-Plover
Long term residents of the camping ground and built nesting boxes for the Zebra Finches.

Zebra Finch at next-box
Extensive areas of mudflats were exposed at low tide. We watched a couple of Black-necked Storks try their luck at fishing.

Black-necked Stork

There were a couple of macropods about that turned out to be a red-coloured subspecies of Euro.

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