Western Australia – Part 1 of 4

Black Swan with cute -pale- chicks at Bibra Lake by Alex Vargas

by Alex Vargas on November 3, 2011 · 3 comments

in Birding Australia, Digiscoping & Bird Photography

Bibra Lake – a fantastic bird-photo introduction to WA & Dryandra Woodlands – a great site that deserves more time!

My first bird-photo trip to the amazing Australia, was to the Western Part and in 2 weeks, barely covered a portion of this wonderful land of contrast and crazy biodiversity. Photography was pretty challenging, but I loved all of it and can’t wait to my next adventure in that paradise island.

I haven’t found much about Australia here, and decided to share some of my wonderful experience Photo-Birding from Perth down to Albany and around. Some 1500km we drove and visited really cool sites… For sure a wonderful introduction to a fantastic, wild and unique country.

During the following 4 weeks, I’ll take you on this ride with me and hope you enjoy the story and the photography of what has turned as one of the greatest driving and birding trips of my life…

Australian Shelduck - male by Alex Vargas

Australian Shelduck - male by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

October 12 – Bibra Lake

I made it to Perth on a direct flight from Bangkok at 4pm. When I got to the hotel, my good friend Ricardo Calvo -RickyGuide- had 2 days since he got in from Costa Rica and boy, he was like a “cat in the window“… We picked up the rent-a-car and prepared for an early morning at a local lake and the first drive in the very controlled roads of WA.

Bibra Lake proved in a second as a perfect choice to get started. Lots of waterfowl around where pretty easy to approach for the photo. The only setback was that as a city park, had tons of people jogging and walking around, but birds didn’t seemed to mind much if a certain distance was respected.

Australian Shelduck - female by Alex Vargas

Australian Shelduck - female by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Australian Wood Duck - male by Alex Vargas

Australian Wood Duck - male by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

At Bibra I found the incredibly odd Musk Duck, got eyes on one of my desired targets: the Blue-billed Duck and finally encounter a wild Black Swan… all good!

Musk Duck - male by Alex Vargas

Musk Duck - male by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Blue-billed Duck - male by Alex Vargas

Blue-billed Duck - male by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Black Swan by Alex Vargas

Black Swan by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Besides the abundant and diverse waterfowl, some other good looking birds came in range… A pink parrot?!… really?!… only in Ausie

Galah by Alex Vargas

Galah by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Australian Magpie by Alex Vargas

Australian Magpie by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Magpie-lark - female by Alex Vargas

Magpie-lark - female by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

By late afternoon we where super happy with our fist day in WA and decided to start heading towards our next destination: Dryandra Woodlands. Several people told me that this site was always empty and we needed no reservation… BIG mistake!… The foreman made a sad face and said: “sorry lads, a University got us full today and tomorrow”!… OUCH!

October 13 – Dryandra Woodlands

Sleeping in the car wasn’t that hard for me -I love cold weather- but not quite so easy for my Costa Rican friend, though. We parked close to some public toilets in the park and loads of grey kangaroos came near by -playing and chasing each other- to wake us up several times during a long first night out of the city.

Unfortunately, as we had no bed for a second night, we had to cut short and actually spent just a few hours at Dryandra Woodlands, but this is a spot that deserves a couple of days with great birding. We saw a few species we never found again on the trip, like the Australasian Grebe, the Grey Teal, the Bush Stone-Curlew and above all, the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo.

Australasian Grebe by Alex Vargas

Australasian Grebe by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Rufous Treecreeper by Alex Vargas

Rufous Treecreeper by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo - female by Alex Vargas

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo - female by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Some helpful links:

http://www.birdsaustralia.com.au/the-organisation/western-australia.html

http://members.iinet.net.au/~foconnor/

http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/component/option,com_hotproperty/Itemid,1584/

Next Week:  Stirling Range and Cheynes Beach

Pacific Black Duck by Alex Vargas

Pacific Black Duck by Alex Vargas, Australia 2009

Happy Bird-Photo Adventures!

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  • http://alpinebirds.blogspot.com DaleForbes

    I love the grebe shot, Alex

    • AlexVargas

      Thanks Dale… It was a bit too far away, but indeed it is a lovely little thing!

      • http://alpinebirds.blogspot.com DaleForbes

        all of the negative space around the bird is what made it for me – you have a strong attention grabber within some nice subtle colours. very nice indeed.

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