Walpole Wanderings

As a group the DBG had never been to Walpole, so it was with a little trepidation that the group of 17 mustered in the Visitors Centre car park, not knowing if there would be many birds to observe. We need not have worried, Colin Steele our local DBG member had guided us to the perfect locations. The first walk at Horseyard Hill, looked quite close to the town, but as we approached we were surrounded by bird calls, initially from thornbills, silvereyes and wrens as we wandered down the boardwalk and over a small stream. Next we came across a group of Western Whistlers having a discussion on the finer points of territorial boundaries. As we entered the Karri forest, full of majestic old trees there were manic Purple-crowned Lorikeets screeching through the canopy and Tree Martins hawking for insects. We heard the distant call of an osprey, the bird was seen in a large Karri along with a nest! Carnaby’s and Baudin’s Cockatoos were both showing interest in the hollows of the mature Karris and the Shining Bronze Cuckoo was heard. Alarm calls from the New Holland Honeyeaters alerted us to a Brown Goshawk circling above the Karri, not a danger though to the adult White-breasted Robin we saw feeding its young on the forest floor.

We returned to the car park for the all important morning tea / coffee ceremony, reflecting on an excellent morning’s birding.

We drove back to Colin’s next location at Coalmine Beach, the wind had picked-up and so we weren’t too hopeful for our prospects. But, no sooner had we got out of our cars, we were greeted by first one Osprey, then another, followed by another two. There was a deal of speculation as to whether they were two parents and two juveniles or two pairs, finally settling on two pairs. A little while later we came across two of the ospreys perched in a tree above their nest. The area was once again dominated by Karri forest and we saw many of the species seen in the morning, including pardalotes, rosellas and fairy-wrens.

There were 17 happy birders at the end of the day, many thanks to Colin Steele for his excellent suggestions and guidance.

Cast of Karri-on Birding in Walpole (Horseyard Hill)
Eastern Osprey (not photographed at Walpole)

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