Walking Beeliar Wetlands Part1

The Beeliar Wetlands are made up of two chains of lakes and swamps directly south of the Swan River and close to the coast. Beeliar is the name of the Aboriginal group who lived in this area and these lakes were important places to them due to the high food productivity of wetlands and their spiritual significance. The wetlands are in “chains” as they are between the large dunes that run parallel to the coast.

As restrictions eased during the Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to walked the wetlands of the second chain (between the second and third dunes) from north to south. It was interesting to get a new perspective of these wetlands through their connectivity and provide some much needed exercise and fresh air!

This Pelican Sculpture was great to see next to Canning Bridge as Australian Pelicans are often resting on the street lights on the bridge.

The first section I did was from the Canning Bridge Train station to the middle of Murdoch University. This went along the Canning River to Booragoon Lake, Blue Gum Lake and Piney Lakes.

Boats on the Canning River.

This first part of the walk along the river was quite busy with people enjoying walks, jogging and canoeing on the river.

The artwork on this small building was very beautiful and featured a Buff-banded Rail.

It was wonderful to see quite a few art works that featured birds along this part of the river.

There are quite a number of beautiful mosaics on the foot path along the river, this one of a Great Egret was particularly lovely!

Between the river and the first lake their was a hill which would probably be the fourth dune from the coast. This area is all heavily developed and between the river and Blue Gum Lake Lake is housing.

There were 5 Australian White Ibis eating insects from the gardens. This one crossed the road to assist in another garden. This made me realise that there was a good reason that the Big Chicken crossed the road!

During winter the lakes and swamps are still filling with water and usually reach their highest water level in October. Blue Gum Lake is a small wetland with an eastern deeper section and the western area is more like a swamp. The wetland has some good bush on the south side and the northern side has been steadily revegetated by the local council and Friends of Blue Gum Lake.

Blue Gum Lake had water in the deeper eastern section and two Australian Shelducks were there.

Between Blue Gum Lake and Booragoon Lake I enjoyed a lovely morning tea at Cafe Denada! The only way to walk from Blue Gum Lake to Booragoon Lake was by walking suburban streets, however, the school and recreation areas here provide some pleasing open space that is frequented by birds.

Booragoon Lake is a larger lake that is surrounded by paperbarks (Melaleuca) and Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus rudis). There are many paperbarks in the south west section of the lake which provide nesting habitat for ibis and cormorants.

Only Leach Highway separates Booragoon Lake and the Piney Lakes Reserve. It was necessary to walk to the traffic lights to cross the highway and this would be a major obstacle for any animals to try to cross. They could only walk across safely in the middle of the night.

The boardwalk that goes through the swamp at Piney Lakes is shaded by many paperbarks and has several information signs along it.

Piney Lakes is a large reserve and includes some large areas of natural bush, grassed areas with barbeques and picnic tables, children’s playgrounds and an Environmental Centre. It is a quite a popular area for locals to exercise, have picnics and relax.

This beautiful mural can only be viewed by going to the toilet at Piney Lakes! It features a Quenda (Southern Brown Bandicoot and a Moaning Frog.

From Piney Lakes it is again necessary to walk thru suburban areas to Murdoch University. This includes crossing South Street which is as busy with cars as Leach Highway.

One of the bird highlights of the walk was a group of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos feeding on Marri seeds in Piney Lakes reserve.

The entire walk was 12.4 km and took just me about 2.5 hours (including morning tea). I used the Strava phone app to track my path.

The map showing the path followed using the Strava app.

It would be wonderful to know how these places looked prior to European settlement. Obviously much more bush and birds. It would be interesting to know how much water would have been in the lakes then as well. Clearing the land to put in houses increases water flowing into the groundwater that fills these lakes but some of the water ends up in the sewerage system which is pumped to the ocean and garden bores pump water from the groundwater too.

Stayed tuned for Walking Beeliar Wetlands Part 2!

Mid-October Wildflower update

Wow time has flown by and it is over halfway through Spring! With the warmer weather this spring, our wildflowers here in Perth have just gone past the peak. But they are only just past the peak flowering and most flowers are still showing their glorious colours.

The daisies in the Wandoo woodlands are at there most brilliant and dazzling in white and yellow! There are also patches of Blue Lechenaultia along the road verges in the Darling Ranges and Wandoo Woodlands. The gorgeous yellow Common Popflowers are also along some verges in the Wandoo woodlands.

There are carpets of yellow and white Daisies on the floor of the Wandoo woodlands in mid to late October.

Some of the beautiful flowers that have been out in the last week are:

The Little Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos bicolor) flowers in Spring.
Calothamnus torulosus is a small shrub which flowers in Spring.
Diplolaena drummondii flowers from July to November and is a small shrub.
Pink Enamel Orchid (Elythrathera emarginata)
Pink Enamel Orchid (Elythrathera emarginata) flowers in September to December.
Variegated Featherflower (Verticordia huegelii) flowers from September to November.
Queen Trigger Plant (Stylidium affine) flowers from October to November.
White Candles (Stackhousia monogyna) flowers in spring.
White Candles (Stackhousia monogyna) flowers in spring.
Common Smokebush (Conospermum stoechadis)
Common smokebush (Conospermum stoechadis) flowers in July to December.
Caladenia Splendens
Splendid White Spider Orchid (Caladenia splendens) flowers in spring.
Drosera hyperostigma is a herb that flowers in October and November.
Sphaerolobium medium has very showy yellor or orange flowers from August to November.
Grey Cottonheads (Conostylis candicans) flowers from July to November.
Blue Lady (Thelymitra crinita) flowers September to December.
Blue China Orchid (Cyanicula gemmata) flowers from September to October.
Calytrix sylvana is a small shrub that flowers from August to October
Purple Enamel Orchid (Elythranthera brunonis)
Purple Enamel Orchid (Elythranthera brunonis) flowers August to October.

There will be plenty of beautiful wildflowers to enjoy in the Perth area in glorious spring weather over the next few weeks. It’s well worth visiting the bush while there are still so many beautiful flowers out and before the hotter weather arrives.


Mid September Wildflower Update

Wow! The wildflowers are really looking beautiful at the moment but still not quite peaking yet. The spots that will become a blaze of colour still have quite a bit of green peaking thru the colourful blooms. Many of the carnivorous plants of the genus Drosera are flowering with Orange, Pink and White flowers (see some images below). Quite a few of the orchids are also flowering now.

The aroma as you walk through the hills is amazing! The Karri Hazel is absolutely at its best and, with the scientific name of Trymalium odoratissimum, you can understand that they have a strong perfume! The Honey Bush (Hakea lissocarpha) is also still covered in white flowers and fills the air with it’s sweet perfume.

Some of the flowers out now include:

Milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata)
Milkmaids (Burchardia umbellate) are a common and widespread wildflower.
Mayweed Sunray (Hyalosperma cotula) flowers from July to December.
Verticordia acerosa
Verticordia acerosa flowers August to November in the Darling Scarp.
Acacia drummondii
Drummond’s Wattle (Acacia drummondii) is found in the Perth Hills.
Vanilla Orchid (Thelymitra antennifera) flower from July to October. There flower centers look like faces with very long yellow noses!
Coral Vine (Kennedia coccinea) flowers from August to November.
Pimpernel Sundew (Drosera glanduligera) is carniverous and flowers from August to November.
The Red and Green Kangaroo Paw is the state floral emblem for Western Australia.
Adenanthos barbiger
Adenanthos barbiger is found in the Perth hills and flowers most of the year.
Drosera menziesii is a carniverous plant that flowers from September to October.
Sticky Starflower (Calytrix glutinosa) flowers September to October.
Sowerbaea laxiflora
Purple Tassels (Sowerbaea laxiflora) flowers from August to November.
Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana) flowers from July to October.
Orthrosanthus laxus
Morning Lily (Orthrosanthus laxus) flowers August to November.
Blue Squill (Chamaescilla corymbosa) flowers in August and September.
Lechenaultia biloba
Blue Lechenaultia (Lechenaultia biloba) flowers from July to December.

It is great to see many people out and about enjoying our wildflowers and natural parks at the moment. Last weekend, when on a Wildflower, Waterfall and Wildlife tour, some of the carparks were very full with cars as many local families and visitors were enjoying the scenery. I urge you to get outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us here in Perth while it is looking spectacular and while the weather is absolutely brilliant!



Early August Wildflower Watch

Prickly Hovea (Hovea pungens)

August is not the peak wildflower season in Perth but it is a time when many of the wildflowers are starting to bloom. You will see individual flowers open from a variety of species rather than large areas of colour. There are enough flowers blooming now to fill your flower rainbow!

So what is flowering now in the Perth area? I am glad you asked! Some of the flowers out now are depicted below.

Small flowered Donkey orchid (Diuris porrifolia) flowers in July to September.
Silky Blue Orchid (Cyanicula sericea) flowers in spring.
Silky Blue Orchid (Cyanicula sericea) flowers in spring.
Catkin Grevillea (Grevillea synapheae)
Catkin Grevillea (Grevillea synapheae) flowers from July to October.
Lambertia multiflora
Many-flowered Honeysuckle (Lambertia multiflora) flowers from June to December.
Caladenia flava
Cowslip Orchid (Caladenia flava) flowers from July to December.
Catspaw Anigozanthos humilis
Catspaw (Anigozanthos humilis) flowers from July to October.
Cockies Tongues (Templetonia retusa)
Cockies Tongues (Templetonia retusa) flowers from April to November.
Honeybush can be seen on a wildflower tour
Honeybush (Hakea lissocarpa) flowers in May to September.
Grevillea pilulifora
Woolly Grevillea (Grevillea pilulifora) flowers from April to December.
Myrtle Hakea (Hakea myrtoides) flowers from July to August.
Isopogon asper flowers from June to October.
Swamp Rainbow (Drosera heterophylla) flowers from June to September.
Prickly Hovea (Hovea pungens)
Prickly Hovea (Hovea pungens) is a prolific flowerer from June to November.
Pepper and Salt (Philotheca spicata) flowers from June to November.
Banksia Armata
Prickly Dryandra (Banksia armata) Flowers in June to September.
White Myrtle (Hypocalymma angustifolium) flowers from June to October.
Firewood Banksia (Banksia menziesii) flowers from February to October.
Prickly moses (Acacia pulchella) July to December.

It is definitely a good time to get out into the bush to take in the beauty that surrounds us. Bush walking and looking at wildflowers is a great way to take a mindful break from our high paced lives. Be in the moment observing nature by looking, smelling, feeling the texture of the leaves and bark and listening to the sounds of our glorious natural areas!

Three Different Bird Photography Tours

Every birdwatcher and bird photographer is different and Perth Birds and Bush is knowledgeable enough to meet these different needs. Let me tell you about three different bird tours for each of Donna, Grace and Geoff. They were all keen bird photographers but all very different in what they wanted from their tour.

Geoff is from the UK and was more of a birder who takes photographs when the opportunity arises. He happy to see the birds and photographs are a secondary but still important part of his hobby. He booked a five hour tour with the primary focus being local endemic species as he had not visited Perth before. On the five hour tour we visited 3 bush bird locations in the Darling Range and one wetland location. The wetland spot was included as he had not seen Tawny Frogmouth and was keen to see some raptors. Geoff definitely photographed more bird species than Grace or Donna but we did not spend time letting the birds get closer to us or trying to move around the birds for better light. We saw at least 53 species on the tour.

Geoff had a great chance to photograph this Spelndid Fairy-wren male in full breeding plumage as it walked closer to us. This wren was perhaps 5 meters from us. My photo is not very crisp as the bird was a little distant and I don’t use a tripod. Nikon D7100, sigma 1.4 converter and Nikon 70 to 300mm lens, f5.6, 1/1600s, ISO 640.
Geoff had a great opportunity to photograph a Western Yellow Robin out in the open. We would have been about 5 meters from this bird but it only stayed in the open for a short time. If we had stayed at this location longer we may have got better photos with the light on the bird etc. I had the same camera set up as above.

Donna from Melbourne wanted to see and photograph 5 bird species that she had not yet seen on her many visits to Perth. These were Western Spinebill, Western Wattlebird, Western Thornbill, Western Yellow Robin and Gilbert’s Honeyeater. We visited three locations during her 5 hour tour and she saw and photographed Western Spinebill, Western Wattlebird and Western Thornbill from her target list. In total we only saw 23 birds but it was the species which mattered. Donna is keen to see her birds but wants to also get photographs of each one. But she does not need to get perfect photos, that is an amazing bonus! She was thrilled to have photographed three of her target species and the next day she went back on her own to one of the spots we visited and managed to take a beautiful photograph of a Western Yellow Robin.

While not one of Donna’s target species, this White-breasted Robin posed a few meters from us while we were looking for Gilbert’s Honeyeater. Unfortunately, I had my camera in my bag when Donna photographed her target birds! But she was within 3m to 15m for the three species on her list that she was looking for. Nikon D7100 Sigma 150-500 lens, f6.3, 1/400s ISO 1600, handheld.

Grace from Canada booked a 4 hour tour and wanted to get fabulous photographs of a fairy-wren and possibly a robin. We went to a location where there are two species of fairy-wren and two species of robins present. She uses a tripod and likes to spend time letting the birds get close to her so that she can take stunning crisp photographs. She got amazing photographs of several Splendid Fairy-wrens, Scarlet Robin and White-breasted Robin, as well as some other species. Several times during the tour the Splendid Fairy-wrens were within 2 meters of us and similarly the Scarlet Robins and White-breasted Robin were within 2 meters of us at least once. We only saw 14 species in the four hours but only need to walk about 100 meters to find the species at the location we were at!

This Splendid Fairy-wren was only a 2 to 3 meters from us when I took this photograph. The sun was low in the sky and the wren was lit up beautifully. I am sure Grace got better photos as she was using a tripod! Nikon D7100 Sigma 1.4x converter, Nikon 70 – 300mm lens, f5.6, 1/3200s, ISO 500 handheld.

These tours were all very different but all three people were very happy with their tours. Communication when booking a tour is the key thing to ensure Perth Birds and Bush will plan the best tour for you. When you book using the booking form please include a comment about what you want from the tour. I always send a bird list back to you from the initial bird tour booking to check what you want to see to make sure that I can plan your tour to meet your wishes!

Two Full Days birdwatching around Perth, April 2019

A Quenda or Southern Brown Bandicoot forage in the open in front of us!

Wow it was a wonderful two days of birdwatching and bird photography with Alan from Sydney. It was Alan’s first visit to Western Australia, so he had not seen any of the south-west endemic species and also had a number of other species that he had not managed to photograph elsewhere in Australia.

Every client who contacts Perth Birds and Bush for a birdwatching tour is emailed a list of birds that can be seen in and around the Perth area and Alan returned the list with notes about which species he would like to see. Perth Birds and Bush then plans the tour day or days to ensure the best chance to see the most birds that the client is interested in seeing. For Alan it was best to have the first day in the Darling Range and Wandoo woodlands and the second day in the Darling Range, Banksia woodlands, and wetlands in the Perth suburbs.

Day 1: Darling Ranges and Wandoo Woodlands

The first two hours of the morning was spent in the Darling Ranges just to the east of Perth. We saw many bush birds including Australian Ringneck parrot, Red-capped Parrot, Splendid Fairy-wren, Red-winged Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin and Red-eared Firetail.

One of the highlights of the morning in the Darling Range was this foraging Red-eared Firetail.
One of the highlights of the morning in the Darling Range was this foraging Red-eared Firetail.

We then drove to the Wandoo woodlands further to the east of Perth. These woodlands are in an area which receives less rainfall than Perth and is the area where much of the forest has been cleared to grow wheat and raise sheep. It is a beautiful habitat that is very different to the Marri and Jarrah forests of the Darling Scarp and attract a number of different bird species.

Western Rosella feeding on seeds from a Allocasuaria, which seems to be one of their favourite foods in this area.
Western Rosella feeding on seeds from a Allocasuaria, which seems to be one of their favourite foods in this area.

In the Wandoo Woodlands we saw Painted Button-Quail, Western Rosella, Australian Ringneck parrot, Red-capped Parrot, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Crested Shrike-tit, and Western Yellow Robin, as well as, other species. There seemed to be quite a few Painted Button-Quail present and we even managed to photograph one as it skulked away from us. We had both morning tea and lunch in this area to ensure that we made the most of this beautiful and species diverse area that is quite distant from the city.

A pair of Western Yellow Robin came delightfully close to us as they hunted in the late morning.
A pair of Western Yellow Robin came delightfully close to us as they hunted in the late morning.

On the way back into Perth we stopped briefly in the Darling Ranges again and had great views of Red-tailed black-Cockatoo, Western Yellow Robin and a variety of other more common species.

Day 2: Darling Range, Banksia woodlands and wetlands in Perth

The second day was spent looking for birds in the Darling Range that we couldn’t find on the first day and other bush and water birds that Alan wanted to see. We visited different sites in the Darling Range partly as these sites are slightly better for the birds in question and provided other places for Alan to experience. But as Alan was staying in Perth for about 1 week it allowed him to familiarize himself with these sites, so that he could go back again on his own, to take more photographs.

Our first stop was at Lake Monger in Perth, as a few days earlier I had seen Spotless Crake there and this was a target species for Alan. We never saw any but on the next day he went back to this location on his own and managed to see and photograph a Spotless Crake at the location I had shown him. We saw a large group of Blue-billed Ducks, Pink-eared Ducks and a number of Black-fronted Dotterel which are all very beautiful water birds!

A Western Wattlebird flying from an Acorn Banksia (Banksia prionotes).
A Western Wattlebird flying from an Acorn Banksia (Banksia prionotes).

Our second stop was a patch of Banksia woodland on our way to the Darling Scarp and almost immediately we had great views of Western Wattlebird feeding and calling. We saw this species several other times on the second day. Once we reached the Darling Scarp we soon were able to see and photograph Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Western Gerygone, Western Thornbill, Western Spinebill, and Scarlet Robin.

A family of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo were enjoying a feed of Jarrah seeds.
A family of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo were enjoying a feed of Jarrah seeds.

We then visited a large wetland for lunch and to start looking for some of the other water birds that Alan wanted to photograph. He was very pleased to see a large group of Musk Duck close to the edge of the wetland, a very large number of Pink-eared Ducks basking at the edge and we were both thrilled to see a Quenda or Southern Brown Bandicoot foraging out in the open! We saw a number of other species including: Glossy Ibis, Red-necked Avocet, Whistling Kite and Swamp Harrier. After this we went to another Banksia woodland site and saw a large variety of honeyeaters as well as a pair of Brown Goshawk.

A Quenda or Southern Brown Bandicoot forage in the open in front of us!
A Quenda or Southern Brown Bandicoot forage in the open in front of us!

Our biggest disappointment on the second day was that the Fairy Terns had left their nesting areas within the last week as the chicks had obviously fully fledged. However, Alan was visiting Rottnest Island during his stay and had a good chance to see them there. We finished the day at one more wetland site were we had excellent views of Nankeen Night Heron and Freckled Duck. We had distant views of a group of Purple-backed (Variegated) Fairy-Wrens including one male with some breeding plumage. We could hear some crakes calling and Alan had a quick glimpse of one but they were hiding from us too well!

There were quite a few Nankeen Night Heron perched in the open basking in the late afternoon light.
There were quite a few Nankeen Night Heron perched in the open basking in the late afternoon light.

In total over the two days we had both seen 91 species of birds and this included over 20 species that were lifers for Alan that he had managed to photograph.

Wonderful Wheatbelt Birdwatching!

It was a superb spring day when I took Alexandre birdwatching well east of Perth! I picked him up in South Perth where the city views over the river were gorgeous! He was working in Perth for a few weeks and it was his first time to Western Australia.

A beautiful view of the Perth skyline from South Perth while waiting to pick Alexandre up!
A beautiful view of the Perth skyline from South Perth while waiting to pick Alexandre up!

Alexandre had already enjoyed a 5 hour “maximum birds” tour with Perth Birds and Bush and had seen 66 species on that tour.  He discussed having a full day tour to see some more bird species but to get further out of Perth to see a different landscape. We decided together to travel east visiting a few Wandoo sites and a Wheatbelt Town on the Avon River – Brookton.

With the long distance to travel we only stopped at four birdwatching sites. The first was a one hour drive east of Perth and we were lucky to see some super birds including: Painted Button-Quail, Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Western Rosella, Rufous Treecreeper, and the gorgeous Blue-breasted Fairy-Wren. We were also lucky to see some Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo’s on our way to the reserve and able to stop and enjoy good views of this endangered species.

The Blue-breasted Fairy-Wren is a stunning wren found in the Wandoo Woodlands near Perth.
The Blue-breasted Fairy-Wren is a stunning wren found in the Wandoo Woodlands near Perth.

Next stop was a small park in Brookton it was a good spot for  honeyeaters but unfortunately the Brown-headed Honeyeaters were darting around too quickly for Alexandre to get good views of them.

We bought lunch at a local café and then went to the river to eat and have a walk along the river to look for some birds! We saw a quite a few but the best was a number of Western Corella’s and a young Rufous Treecreeper.

Western Corella are an endemic south west Australian bird species and are found several hours drive north or east of Perth.
Western Corella are an endemic south west Australian bird species and seemed as curious of us as we were of them!
This young Rufous Treecreeper was having a lot to say!
This young Rufous Treecreeper was having a lot to say!

We then went to a very large nature reserve called Boyagin Rock. This is a great patch of Wandoo tucked away among the large wheat, sheep and canola farms. On the way to the rock we were lucky to notice a farm with several Australasian Pipits and White-winged Trillers feeding. But this was especially lucky as when we stopped to look at them, we were able to watch a Brown Falcon flying low over the farm! It made several sweeping flights while we watched.

You can walk over Boyagin Rock and will often see Ornate Crevice Dragon, which has to be one of the most attractive lizards in this area.
You can walk over Boyagin Rock and will often see Ornate Crevice Dragon, which has to be one of the most attractive lizards in this area.

At Boyagin Rock Nature Reserve we saw quiet a few bird species. Even though it was a warm afternoon the birds were still busy calling and feeding. Alexandre was very taken with the Red-capped Robins. Who wouldn’t be? But he also liked the Crested Pigeons, Red-capped Parrots, Galahs. Australian Ringnecks, Splendid Fairy-Wrens, and Scarlet Robins.

Red-capped Robins are always a favourite!
Red-capped Robins are always a favourite!

It had been a long day and time to return to Perth. We had seen a total of 59 species during the day and had added 23 new bird species to Alexandre’s bird list. Including a majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle on the return journey!

Happy Birding!


Wildflower, Waterfall and Wildlife tour

Vickie and Murray were visiting from Queensland and wanted to get out to see some of Perth’s wildflower and parklands. They booked on a 4 hour Wildflower, Waterfall and Wildlife tour which was a shortened version of the one advertised on the tours page. The shortening of the tour meant that the Zig Zag Scenic drive was taken out of the 5 hour tour package as Vickie was keen to see Wildflowers and the two waterfalls as they were flowing well and Queensland is in the middle of a terrible drought.

First stop was the Wildflowers in the Ellis Brook Valley which is part of Banyowla Regional Park. On the drive into the park we saw a large group of Western Grey Kangaroos, Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos and Baudin’s Black-Cockatoos. The wildflowers are not at their peak yet in August but there were still a lot of wildflowers blooming beautifully. Parts of the distant hillside at Ellis Brook were whitened with the many white flowering hakeas (Hakea Trifurcata and Hakea lissocarpha).

Prickly Hovea (Hovea pungens)
Prickly Hovea (Hovea pungens) is a prolific flowerer from June to November.

But there was a lot of other colourful blooms. Yellow was well represented with Buttercups (Hibbertia hypericoides), Golden Hibbertia (Hibbertia aurea), Many-flowered Honeysuckle (Lambertia multiflora) and Prickly Moses (Acacia pulchella), all covered in bright yellow flowers. The dense purple flowerings of Prickly Hovea (Hovea pungens) and Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana) are always hard to ignore! There were stunning red flowers on the Candle Cranberry (Astroloma filiosum), Moss-leaved Heath (Astroloma ciliatum) and Fushia Grevillea (Grevillea bipinnatifida). Vickie was taken with the beautiful soft pink grey flowers of Granite Petrophile (Petrophile biloba) and we found one bush of Pincushion Coneflower (Isopogon dubius) covered in bright pink flowers. Many other Pincushion coneflowers were covered in buds as were the Verticordia acerosa indicating we are weeks away from the hillside being covered in yellow with dots of bright pink. We found several orchids out including the Bluebeards (Cyanicula deformis), Midge Orchid (Cyrtostylis huegelii) and Common Donkey Orchid (Diuris corymbosa).

Petrophile biloba
Granite petrophile (Petrophile biloba) flowers from June to October.

We went to the Sixty Foot Falls in Banyowla Regional park and walked up to the first lookout. The falls are flowing well and were lit in beautiful sunshine while we were there. We were very lucky too that there was only one group of other people in the area so virtually had the place to ourselves! This enabled us to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and atmosphere to the fullest!

The Sixty Foot Waterfalls and the first lookout in Banyowla Regional Park.
The Sixty Foot Waterfalls and the first lookout in Banyowla Regional Park.

Next we had afternoon tea at Bickley Brook Reservoir and on the way there saw another much larger group of Western Grey Kangaroos! At Bickley Brook the water was flowing well and it was nice to hear its cascade as we enjoyed out drinks and snacks while be entertained by some caroling Australian Magpies!

Australian Magpie
The Australian Magpie is a very common species throughout Perth.

Our final stop was the Lesmurdie Falls in Lesmurdie National Park. The Falls are just in spectacular form this year as there has been good rains. The tracks to the waterfall were surrounded with flowering Hakeas and Karri Hazel (Trymalium odoratissimum). These falls are the best in Perth and it was surprising that there were only a few people there enjoying the spectacular scenary. Thanks to Vickie and Murray for their wonderful company and for booking on this new nature tour being offered by Perth Birds and Bush!

Lesmurdie Waterfall
Lesmurdie Falls in August 2018 are looking spectacular!

Two full days of Birdwatching near Perth

Splendid Fairy-wren

Walter from Hawaii had visited Australia before but had never been to Perth. He is a keen bird photographer and was interested in seeing and photographing a wide variety of species when he came on two full day tours with Perth Birds and Bush. Top of his wish list were a number of ducks, parrots, cockatoos, raptors and the fairy-wrens in breeding plumage.

On our first day we headed north east of Perth to the Wandoo Woodlands in the Avon Valley, with morning tea at Northam Weir in the heart of Northam. We meandered along the Avon looking for raptors and other target species and finally had lunch in Toodyay. On the way back into Perth we visited Noble Falls briefly before some time at Herdsman Lake and Lake Monger. It was a great day of sunshine and no wind perfect for birdwatching and enjoying the sights and sounds of our beautiful bushland and wetlands! We saw a total of 64 species on our first day.

This female Mistletoebird was oblivious to our presence as she collected a spider for morning tea!
The farming areas in the Avon Valley are a good spot to see Crested Pigeon! But they can also be found in the outer suburbs of Perth.
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
A Yellow-billed Spoonbill was yawning as we left Herdsman Lake in the late afternoon.

On our second day we headed south visting several wetlands before heading east to the Jarrah/Marri Forests of the Darling Range in Jarrahdale. We had morning tea at Wellard Wetlands and lunch in the garden of a local café in Jarrahdale. After lunch we headed back onto the Swan Coastal Plain and drove thru farming areas to see birds that are more prominent in farms and then went back up into the Jarrah/Marri forest of the Darling Range. We managed to see another 23 species on our second day bringing the total for the trip to 87 species. Many of these species were photographed by Walter!

Splendid Fairy-wren
We saw a big family of Splendid Fairy-Wrens on our last day. This non-breeding plumage male was very relaxed in our presence. Luckily Walter also saw and photographed a beautiful male in full breeding plumage!
Red-winged Fairy-Wren
This male Red-winged Fairy-Wren was a real poser and very friendly too!