West Coast Bird WatchingAuthor: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: April 2007
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 10-days we spent bird watching along the West Coast of Western Australia during April 2007.
We saw 100 bird species at 9 parks. The parks by Region where we saw the most bird species were:
Wheatbealt Region - Yanchep NP = 31, Pinnacles Desert NP = 15, & New Norcia Monisteria = 12.
Mid-West Region - Kalbarri NP = 24, & Horrocks Beach = 14
Gascoyne Region - Cape Range NP -- 22, Giralia Station = 16, & Ningaloo Reef Resort = 15
Pilbara Region - NW Coast Hwy = 45
The Regions where we saw the most bird species were:
Pilbara = 45, Wheatbealt = 39, Gascoyne = 39, & Mid-West = 29
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_in_Australia for the definition of Australian Regions.
Gingin -- We stayed at the Neergabby Organic Farm B&B (firstname.lastname@example.org 31.332S 115.857E) outside Gingin about 1-hours north of Perth. Our hosts were Robin and Ian. We had never stayed in a Rammed Limestone house before -- Beautiful!!!. We took the meals option and were very pleased.
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.
Northampton -- It was hard to find a place to stay in this area that had the possibility of birding. We ended up staying at the Willow Gully Farmstay (28.381S 114.454E) between Northampton and Horrocks. We stayed in an old farmhouse, but there was no farm family around and only 5-bird species. We probably should have stayed in Horrocks at the Horrocks Beach Caravan Park in a Park Cabin (28.381S 114.430E) for the night. (http://www.horrocksbeachcaravanpark.com.au/site/accommodation).
Coral Bay -- We stayed at the Ningaloo Reef Resort (23.143S 113.769E http://www.coralbay.info/resort.htm). We were not very pleased with our room. We were expecting something more private and beachfront. The kitchen was a joke -- a microwave, small refrig, an electric pot to boil water for tea/coffee, a small decrepit toaster and two spoons/knives/forks -- no stove. We came prepared to make sandwiches and eat out, so we made do. We were there during a holiday period so the resort was crowded and noisy.
Giralia Station -- We stayed at the remote Giralia Station (pronounced Ja-Ray-Le-uh 22.684S 114.368E) about 100 Km from Coral Bay (http://australia.shopsafe.com.au/western_australia_accommodation/
ningaloo_reef_accommodation/exmouth/giralia_station_stay-cabin_cottage_accommodation.htm). Our hosts were Denver & Jennifer, their 3 kids, 4 dogs, 5 cats and 3 horses. Denver said they have a 35 Kw generate for the Station along with a solar power system. The generator runs 10 hours a day and powers the refrig, air conditioning, lights, computers, etc. The generator goes off at 9:30pm, which means no AC during the night. Denver said it costs them $24,000 US to run the generator a year; i.e., $2000 a month. Jennifer said we it is too cool now (102F today) for cyclones. A month ago when they had 3 cyclones in 3 weeks, it was 120 to 125F every day (they ran the AC at night then).
Port Hedland -- We stayed at the Cooke Point Holiday Park (http://cooke-point-holiday-park.wa.big4.com.au/ 20.310S 118.638E) in a holiday cabin. We got there after the office had closed, but the staff reopened for us. However, since this was part of the official 4-day Easter holidays nothing was open in town for supper. We made do with snack food we carry with us.
Highlights of the Region:
Eating Panna Cotta for dessert at Gingin.
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