October 2014

24th-27th October 2014
Stirling Range, Western Australia

Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)

The Stirling Range is about an hour's drive north of Albany and rises out of the surrounding plain to a maximum altitute of a little over 1000m.

Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)

Many of the area's endemic birds are resident here, including good numbers of Carnaby's Black Cockatoo (also commonly known as Short-billed Black Cockatoo.

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

The Canola fields bordering the forest at the base of the mountains were an excellent spot for viewing a range of parrots and cockatoos with up to 7 species (Carnaby's Black Cockatoo, Regents Parrot, Elegant Parrot, Red-capped Parrot, Australian Ringneck, Western Rosella and Galah) feeding on the seeds.

Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus)

Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus)

Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius)

Australian Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius)

Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans)

At the edge of one of the Canola fields, a pair of Spotted Pardalotes were busy excavating a nest burrow under a pile of straw along the fence line.

female Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus)

Female Spotted Pardalotes are differentiated from the males by their yellow crown spots and the less distinct spots on their back.

male Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus)

male Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus)

Australasian Pipits could also be easily seen feeding on the ground along the edges of the fields.

Australasian Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae)

Scarlet Robins were fairly common in the dry woodlands at the base of Bluff Knoll.

Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang)

Swan River Honeyeater (Melithreptus chloropsis)

Swan River Honeyeater was formerly considered to be a subspecies of White-naped Honeyeater but due to slight morphological differences and the isolation of its population from that of White-naped it has now been elevated to full specific status.

New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

Several pairs of Restless Flycatchers could be found around the grounds of the Stirling Range Retreat. This species is easily located by its distinctive "scissor-grinder" calls.

Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta)

Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis)

Western Yellow Robin, apart from a small disjunct population near Adelaide, is endemic to southwestern Australia, where it is found in dry open woodland and mallee scub.

immature Western Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria griseogularis)

Western Crested Shrike-tit (Falcunculus frontatus leucogaster)

The white-bellied, western form of Crested Shrike-tit is regarded by some authorities to be a species in its own right due to its morphological differences and its isolation from all other populations of Crested Shrike-tits.

Crested Shrike-tit (Falcunculus frontatus leucogaster)

juvenile Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus ornatus)

Little Crow (Corvus bennetti)

Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen)

Despite its varied and interesting birdlife, Stirling Range is, however, most famous for its incredible floral diversity, with over 450 species of orchids alone!

Blue Lady Orchid (Thelymitra crinita)

South African Orchid (Disa bracteata)

I was too late in arriving to witness the peak flowering season, but many of the late spring/early summer species were in full bloom.

Hairy Rufous Greenhood Orchid (Pterostylis ciliate)

Catspaw (Anigozanthos humilis)

Fringed Lily (Thysanotus tuberosus)

Boronia sp.

21st-24th October (Cheynes Beach, WA) 2014 index 27th-29th October (Albany, WA)