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Across the Nullarbor Plain & SE Coastal WA Birding

Author: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: January 2001



In 2006 and 2007 we spent 255 Days driving around Australia. We started in Darwin, drove south to Alice Springs, backtracked to Cairns, went down the East Coast to Rockhampton, cut over to Melbourne, went across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, drove up the West Coast to Broome, and finished by crossing the Kimberely Region on our way back to Darwin -- 24,000 miles & 6 rental cars. Along the way we stayed in 56 cities and saw 693 bird species/subspecies.

This Trip Report covers the 7-days we spent bird watching in SE Coastal Western Australia during March 2007.

We saw 91 bird species at 8 parks. The parks where we saw the most bird species were: Monjingup Lake = 34, Fitzgerald River NP = 32, Lake Warden Wetlands = 26, Fraser Sheep Station = 19, Dundas Rocks = 18, Cape Le Grand NP = 17, Eyre Hwy = 16, & Fitzgerald River B&B = 16.

The cities where we saw the most bird species were: Esperance = 60, Jarramungup = 40, Norseman = 30 & Mundrabilla = 3.

Lodging

Mundrabilla -- We stayed at the Mundrabilla Motor Hotel (mundrabilla@bigpond.com 31.834S 128.177E). The rooms were pretty dowdy, but the food at the restaurant was good. You can make reservations by Internet.

If you put these coordinates into Google Earth, you can see the locations I am discussing. Typically, there will be lots of pictures as well.

fraser sheep station60 Miles East of Norseman - We stayed at the Fraser Sheep Station (www.fraserrangestation.com.au 32.029S 122.795E). The Station sits in the middle of 700,000 acres. The nearest neighbors are 60 miles east or 60 miles west. They don't raise sheep anymore. They have converted the buildings into guest housing and developed a RV park. We stayed in the 1891 housing for ranch hands. The one we had still had the rock floor and original doors and windows. We had our meals supplied by the Station -- Beautiful!!! The owners have developed a modern bathhouse. We originally planned to stay 3 nights, but only stayed 1 night since it was so dry and there were not many birds around.

Norseman -- We ended up staying 2 nights in Norseman at the Norseman Eyre Motel. We thought we should move to Esperance early since we didn't see many birds at the Fraser Sheep Station. However, it turned out it was a long weekend, and all the hotels were full. We ended up driving 2-hours back to Norseman to find a place to stay for Sunday and Monday nights. We got the Executive Room at the Norseman Eyre Motel in town (AAA 3 Star) -- I feel sorry for the people who got the standard or budget rooms!

Esperance -- We stayed at the All Season Esplanade Apartments (esperance_allseasons@bigpond.com ) close to downtown.

Jerramungup - We stayed at the Fitzgerald River B&B (http://members.westnet.com.au/fitzriverbb 33.960S 119.170E). Our hosts were Janine and Trevor Barrett. They live on an active station with 7000 sheep and 7000 acres of wheat, barley and canola. This is a place where you usually can see the highly endangered Malleefowel in the evenings in the Barley field. The meals were Beautiful!!!!!!

Highlights of the Region:

malleefowelSeeing the highly endangered Malleefowel at the Fitzgerald River B&B.

Eating Yabbies at the Fitzgerald River B&B.

Seeing 27 Wedge-tailed Eagles while crossing the Nullarbor, and innumerable Ravens and Crows chowing down on the overnight road kill.

Seeing a pair of Rufous Treecreepers nesting at the Fraser Sheep Station.

Seeing a mob of Emus at Cape Le Grand NP.

The bird cacophony at Monjingup Lake and seeing several Red-capped Parrots and a dozen Elegant Parrots feeding off the Showy Banksia plants (Bottle Brush to us). A Musk Duck was in the lake.



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