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SW Western Australia Bird Watching

Author: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: March 2007

Midmorning we drove down to Wyadup Beach Park. It was too hot for much walking. We went rock-hopping and found a horizontal blowhole powered by big waves.

We finished the morning at Injidup Beach, where we watched kids sand boarding using their Boogie Boards.

Midafternoon we went for a drive and ended up at Canal Rocks (33.680S 114.994E). We watched as three Dolphins rounded up a school of fish -- the fish lathered the surface of the water. Silver Gulls came in to clean up the leftovers.

busselton jetty ocean observatoryOn March 27 we drove to the Busselton Jetty Ocean Observatory (33.644S 115.344E) in the morning. The Jetty is a mile & a football field long -- the second longest jetty in the world. We put on our jackets, got tickets ($18 each) and walked out to the end of the jetty.

The Observatory is a 25-foot cylinder that extends 9m to the ocean floor. A spiral staircase winds thru three floors and finally reaches the bottom. We were surprised at the array of tropical fish swimming around the 4-inch thick Plexiglas windows. The warm Leeuwin current from Indonesia is responsible for bringing the tropical fish and coral to waters that would normally be too cold to support them. Three hundred fishes species have been recorded here plus many soft corals.

We spent 45 minutes below the water. There was a massive school of Yellow Tails (small silver fish with a yellow tail). Altogether we saw 30 fish types, and heaps of corals and sponges.

On the walk back the wind was howling at 30mph, then it started to rain. After a few minutes we got to a shelter on the jetty and waited till the rain stopped.

Back on land, we went for Lunch at the Equinox Cafe on the beach. My wife ordered a fancy Barramundi dish, but the fish tasted "fishy", so all their hard work was in vain. I got a steak in mushroom sauce over mashed potatoes with an onion glaze topped with fried sweet potato peel. Half beautiful.

new holland honeyeatersOn March 28 we drove over to Cape Naturaliste (33.537S 115.009E). From Sept thru Nov this area is frequented by Blue Whales, Humpbacks, and Wright Whales returning to Antarctica from the tropics. We went on a 4K walk thru the heath. It was overcast and cool, which made for good bush walking. We saw a few good birds like the White-tailed Fantail, New Holland Honeyeater, Splendid Fairywren and Spotted Scrubwren.

On March 29 we drove south to check out the beaches in the Margaret River area. Our first stop was at Grunters Beach where we could see the Pro surfing venue. We moved on south to Redgate Beach. It was sunnier here and the wind had died down. Heaps of surfers here.

Down the track we stopped at the Boranup Forest State Forest for a drive in the Kerri Trees. After a few K's, we decided the road was getting too rough and backtracked to the main road.

Our final stop was at Hamelin Bay. We found a nice pond, but not many water birds. A climb across the sand dune brought us to an expansive beach park. The sun was so brightly reflecting off the sand we couldn't stay long.

We talked to our host Judy Fisher this afternoon. She said the best time to come here for the wildflowers is late Sept and October. She said people that come too early in Sept could be disappointed if they are looking for wildflowers.

On March 30 we went for an early morning walk around the 250-acre farm where we were staying. Late morning we went to the Woody Nook for lunch. We got the platter for two with Venison sausage, Brie cheese, feta cheese, fresh bread, crackers, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

Next we went to the Cape Lavender Farm in Wilyabrup (33.786S 115.09E). The entrance road was lined with lavender, the circular parking lot had a lavender hedge, and there were lavender beds along the sidewalk. In the distance we could see fields of lavender. Inside they had dozens of lavender products. We got some lip balm, soap, and incense sticks.

I saw this plaque at the Woody Nook.

I Believe

I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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