WA Birds 07. Sarus Crane to Painted Button-quail


Sarus Crane

Grus antigone

A vagrant in Australia until 1966 when it became established in Queensland.  There have only been three confirmed records in WA at Bigge Island, Windjana Gorge and near Karratha with unconfirmed reports at Lake Argyle and Parry Lagoons.  Look for the red legs.


Brolga (photographs)

Grus rubicunda

Common to abundant in the Kimberley. Reported as far south as Carnarvon.  A vagrant reported at Beacon.


Red-legged Crake

Rallina fasciata

Very rare vagrant to Australia.  One photographed at Whim Creek in early June 2007.  One historic record at Broome (possibly ship assisted) in 1958.


Buff-banded Rail (photographs)

Gallirallus philippensis

Common at Penguin Island.  Seen at Adenia Road Lagoon, Alfred Cove, Kogalup Swamp, Jandebup Lake.  Seen at Argyle Diamond Mine.  Reported at Broome, Lacepede Islands.


Lewin’s Rail (extinct)

Rallus pectoralis

This used to be rarely recorded in the south west but is now believed to be extinct.



Amaurornis olivacea

Very rarely recorded in WA.  Only confirmed sighting was at Mitchell Falls in August 1985, but unconfirmed sightings have been made at Ord River irrigation area, King Leopold Ranges, Lake Argyle Tourist Village and near Surveyor Pool.


Baillon’s Crake

Porzana pusilla

Fairly common at Argyle Diamond Mine.  Seen at Broome, Thomson’s Lake, Herdsman Lake, Regent Waters at Lake Joondalup, ALCOA Wetlands, Jandebup Lake.


Australian Spotted Crake

Porzana fluminea

Not common in WA.  Seen at Forrestdale Lake, Herdsman Lake, Pelican Point, Carnarvon, Derby, Argyle Diamond Mine.  Reported at Bayswater Bird Sanctuary, Thomson’s Lake.


Spotless Crake

Porzana tabuensis

Common when there is exposed mud beside typha reeds at Lake Monger, Thomson’s Lake, Forrestdale Lake, Kogolup Swamp, Lake Claremont, Perry Lakes, Bayswater Bird Sanctuary, ALCOA Wellard Wetlands, Lake Cooloongup, Lake McLarty, Jandebup Lake.  Common in mangroves at Abrolhos Islands.


White-browed Crake (photograph)

Porzana cinerea

Common in Kununurra and along Ord River.  Seen at Argyle Diamond Mine including a juvenile.


Chestnut Rail (photograph)

Eulabeornis castaneoventris

Generally uncommon in WA.  Fairly common in mangroves along tidal rivers in north Kimberley.  Six seen at Port Warrender near the Kimberley Coastal Camp.  Heard along Camp Creek.  Reported at Hunter River, Derby wharf.


Purple Swamphen (photograph)

Porphyrio porphyrio

Common on freshwater with typha reeds.


Dusky Moorhen (photograph)

Gallinula tenebrosa

Common around many lakes in Perth.


Black-tailed Native-hen

Gallinula ventralis

Seen at Broome, Lake Argyle, Argyle Diamond Mine, Murchison River bridge near Kalbarri, between Geraldton and Mullewa, Nallan Lake near Cue, north west of Wubin.  Uncommon in south west.  Seen at Herdsman Lake, Grasmere Elleker Road near Albany.


Eurasian Coot (photograph)

Fulica atra

Widespread and common on freshwater often in large flocks (1,000++).


Australian Bustard (photographs)

Ardeotis australis

Fairly common in suitable habitat.  Seen at Parry Lagoons, Kununurra irrigation areas, Kingston Rest Station, Argyle Diamond Mine, Broome, Cocklebiddy.


Red-backed Button-quail

Turnix maculosa

One seen at Broome in February 1996.  Yellow inner wing very prominent in flight.  One found after heavy rain at Argyle Diamond Mine in April 2000.  One at Anna Plains Station in November 2006.


Little Button-quail (photograph)

Turnix velox

Common along the Canning Stock Route (nest at Well 32?) in July 199?.  Fairly common at Broome, Argyle Diamond Mine, Kununurra.  Seen at Cue in February 1996 and September 1997.


Red-chested Button-quail

Turnix pyrrhothorax

Regarded as an uncommon wet season migrant to the Kimberley.  Seen at Kununurra (several places in January 1995), Broome (March 1996 & November 1999), Argyle Diamond Mine (January 1997 & December 1999).


Chestnut-backed Button-quail

Turnix castanota

Uncommon in north Kimberley.  Seen on northern Dampier Peninsula with George Swann.  Best chance is along the road to Kalumburu and Mitchell Plateau.  George Swann recommends the edge of remnant rainforest.


Painted Button-quail

Turnix varia

Fairly easily found at Dryandra State Forest.  Seen once at Bungendore State Forest.  Reported at Flynn Road. Look for round platelets.


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Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2007 Visits Last Modified 3rd June 2007