2nd-5th November 2014
Perth area, Western Australia
Within an hour's drive of Perth city centre, there are numerous decent spots for bird photography. The first of these that I visited was Penguin Island, about 50km south of Perth off the coast of Rockingham.
The island gets its name from the Little Penguins that breed on the island, but the chances of seeing a wild individual during daylight hours, especially at this time of year, are extremely low. There are a few rescued individuals that are either unable to survive in the wild or are being rehabilitated after being found injured, that are kept at the visitor's centre on the island.
A number of other seabirds use the island for their breeding colonies, including the beautiful Bridled Tern, and close views can be obtained of most of them.
Another offshore island worth visiting is Rottnest Island, where the healthy population of Quokka are the main attraction. These strange-looking, small wallabies are common on the island and can easily be seen in the township at any time of the day, often scrounging for crumbs around the feet of the tourists at the picnic tables outside of the bakery.
Birdlife on the island is mainly centred around the numerous inland lakes and include numerous shorebirds, such as Banded and Pied Stilts.
A large flock of Red-necked Avocets were also present on one of the lakes, but were a little bit more distant.
Smaller shorebirds along the shorelines of the lakes included a few Red-capped Plovers.
The most common small wader, however, were the tiny Red-necked Stints, an abundant, non-breeding winter visitor to Australia from Kamchatka and Siberia.
White-fronted Chats darted among the rocks and along the sand at the lake edges, hyperactively chasing flies.
Back on the mainland, Galahs could be found just about everywhere.
There are numerous freshwater lakes within the city of Perth and wildfowl here can be both plentiful and fairly tame. A few examples of the type of species you can expect to see here are shown below:
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