Short Trips Archives - Kimberley Bird Watching

  • Wet Season Visit to Ashmore Reef

    A 10 day private trip to Ashmore Reef in January, 10 days of pure birdwatching. The journey from Darwin to Ashmore turned out to be a bit slow on the bird front. A few Crested Terns were seen loafing on floating bits of timber and several Brown Boobies were perched on navigator markers in Darwin harbour, then to my great excitement four Irrawaddi Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) bobbed past the bow – unexpected to say the least. A few Lesser Frigatebirds and mixed flocks of Common and White-winged Black Terns were concentrating on baitfish, several Streaked Shearwaters seen later that afternoon. More cetacean excitement with a pod of 6 False Killer Whales followed shortly afterwards by several large pods of Tropical Spinner Dolphins (Stenella longirostris). At first light the following day I saw the first Sooty Terns of the trip quickly followed by 4 Pantropical Spotted Dolphins (Stenella attenuate). After a rushed breakfast – I didn’t want to miss any action – more Sooty Terns were seen and a Green Sea Turtle (Chilonias midas). By mid morning Common Noddies were mixed with Sooty Terns and excitement reached new levels with a superb view of one Tahiti Petrel. The extraordinary sight of two lemon migrant butterflies Catopsilia pomona pomona, which were living up to their name, this species was also recorded on Ashmore later on the trip. On the approach to Ashmore large numbers of birds were seen at sea, Lesser Frigatebirds, Sooty Terns, Common Noddies, Black Noddies and Great Frigatebird. After our arrival I investigated West Island, hot conditions seemed to slow the bird activity down. However a nice selection of species were found but unfortunately no vagrants. Birds recorded on West Island included Eastern Reef Egrets, with white morphs easily outnumbering grey birds. Other birds of the same genus included Little Egrets and 1 Great Egret. Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds were both breeding. Nine Oriental Cuckoos, a Sacred Kingfisher, a pair of Magpie Larks and several Buff Banded Rails were the only land birds seen. The Rails were splashing in …

  • 4 Day Dampier Peninsula

    A short 4 day trip from the 19th to 22nd April with Frances Taylor and Clare Gifford was a knockout trip. We found Gouldian Finches on the first day drinking at a puddle on the Cape Leveque Road and then again at our campsite over the next two days with a total of 23 birds observed. It’s great to see this species doing well on the Peninsula. Rose-crowned Fruit Doves showed very well and mangrove birds like Shining Flycatcher and Mangrove Golden Whistler were very obliging. The northern end of the Dampier Peninsula has such a range of rich habitats in close proximity that it’s entirely possible to see Beach Stone Curlew one minute, Gouldian Finch and Chestnut-backed Button Quail the next. Talking of these spectacular Button-Quail—we saw them too!! On the raptor front, Square-tailed Kites were seen regularly, often floating over dense mangrove forest. Sea Eagles, Brahminy Kites and Ospreys are incredibly common up here, it easy to become blasé about these handsome birds of prey. Our trip total was over 120 species with some cracking views of some rare and difficult ones. Good luck Clare & Frances on future birding trips.

  • George Swann

    Your Guide - George Swann

    George was born in England and emigrated to Australia in 1984. He has lived in Broome since 1989 and established Kimberley Birdwatching in 1993.

    Through many years of fieldwork, George has gained tremendous knowledge of the natural history of the Kimberley, including bird distribution and behaviour, with the emphasis on rare, endangered and poorly known species.

    George is a professional bird guide, with a passionate interest in the natural history and ecology of the region. He is a resourceful bushman and an infectiously enthusiastic travelling companion.

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    PO Box 220, Broome 6725, Western Australia
    Phone: (08) 9192 1246
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