WA Birds 22. White-backed Swallow to Common Starling


White-backed Swallow

Cheramoeca leucosternus

Generally uncommon.  Prefers more sandy areas where they can dig nesting tunnels.  Common on the Canning Stock Route.  Seen near Hyden, Lancelin, Cue and Lake Austin.  Best chance near Perth is at Lake Coogee.  Seen once at Herdsman Lake.


Barn Swallow (photograph)

Hirundo rustica

Regular summer migrant to the north west.  Fairly common at Derby, Broome and Port Hedland.


Welcome Swallow (photographs)

Hirundo neoxena

Very common in the south especially near water.  Uncommon in small numbers in the north.  Seen at Broome.  Check the tail in the north for possible Pacific Swallow which has short tail streamers and solid white bars on either side.


Red-rumped Swallow

Hirundo daurica

Very rare migrant to WA.  Reported by Mike Carter in Broome in January 1992.  Reported in Broome and Kununurra in December 1999.  One seen on Roebuck Plains near the Broome Bird Observatory in February 2005.


Tree Martin

Hirundo nigricans

Very common in the south during spring and summer when they breed.  They form large flocks (1,000+) around Perth in February which migrate north overnight.  Common in the north during autumn and winter.


Fairy Martin

Hirundo ariel

Common in the Kimberley in the wet season, but very uncommon in the dry season.  Seen breeding in road culverts and underneath a roof at the Argyle Diamond Mine, and between Broome and Derby.  Seen breeding under rock overhang at Geikie Gorge.  Seen breeding under rock overhang at Walga Rock near Cue in September 1998.  Uncommon in the south west.


Clamorous Reed-Warbler

Acrocephalus stentoreus

Common around wetlands with typha reeds.


Oriental Reed-Warbler

Acrocephalus orientalis

Probably regular wet season migrant to the Kimberley.  Seen at Lily Creek Lagoon at Kununurra. Reported at Derby.  One banded by the BBO in the Crab Creek mangroves near Broome in March 1998.  Look for pink mouth (rather than yellow/orange), slightly larger, faint streaks on throat, different call.


Arctic Warbler

Phylloscopus borealis

Very rare vagrant in Australia.  One at Anna Plains Station in November 2006.  Reported banded at the Broome Bird Observatory in January 1998.  Reported at Lacepede Islands in December 1997.


Tawny Grassbird

Megalurus timoriensis

Common on Adele Island.  Uncommon in the Kimberley.  One seen at Argyle Diamond Mine.


Little Grassbird

Megalurus gramineus

Occurs around wetlands with typha reeds.  More common in summer.  Bayswater Bird Sanctuary is the best chance.  Seen at Herdsman Lake, Lake Monger and Lake Cooloongup.  Very uncommon in the north.  Seen at Carnarvon and Kununurra.



Eremiornis carteri

Fairly common at Millstream Chichester and Cape Range.  Seen three times at Argyle Diamond Mine.  Seen by others near the south of Lake Gregory.


Rufous Songlark

Cincloramphus mathewsi

Migratory.  Very common in the Kimberley in the wet season.  Seen at Argyle Diamond Mine, Kununurra and Broome.  Fairly common in the south west in late spring and early summer.  Seen at Dryandra State Forest, Mt Barker and once near Lake McLarty.  Seen at Wubin in April 1997.  Easiest to find when they are calling.


Brown Songlark

Cincloramphus cruralis

Migratory.  Fairly common in the Kimberley in the wet season.  Seen at Argyle Diamond Mine, Kununurra and Broome.  Fairly common in the south west in early summer especially near Lake McLarty.  Prefers more open areas than Rufous Songlark.  Easiest to find when they are in display flight.


Zitting Cisticola

Cisticola juncidis

Seen at Parry Lagoons.  Look for white tip to tail and different call.


Golden-headed Cisticola

Cisticola exilis

Common in long grass in the Kimberley.  Seen at Broome, Derby, Argyle Diamond Mine, Wyndham and Kununurra.


Yellow White-eye

Zosterops luteus

Common in mangroves at Carnarvon and further north.  Often in adjacent scrub. Seen at Exmouth, islands off the Pilbara coast, Broome, Derby, west Kimberley coast, Kimberley Coastal Camp and Wyndham.


Silvereye (photograph)

Zosterops lateralis

Occurs in the south and south west.  Abundant in the south west and to the south.  The WA race gouldii has a green back.


Dark-sided Flycatcher

Muscicapa sibirica



Blue-and-white Flycatcher (photographs)

Cyanoptila cyanomelana

One seen at the Broome Bird Observatory in November 2002.  One found dead by Grant & Clare Moreton at Settlers Beach at Wickham in the Pilbara in December 1995.  These are the only Australian records.


Narcissus Flycatcher

Ficedula carcissina

One photographed by ? on Barrow Island in December 1995.  This is the only Australian record.


Common Starling (self introduced)

Acridotheres tristis

A flock of 35 on Young River Farm near Munglinup in February 2006.  They have become established in WA near Condingup and Munglinup.  They nest near lakes and seem to associate with livestock on nearby farms.  A few try to migrate along the Great Australian Bight each year but are caught or shot.  They are listed as vermin and any sightings must be reported to the Agriculture Protection Board (08 9368 3275).


Rosy Starling

Sturnus roseus

One adult seen at Lake Eda near Broome in September 2004.  This was the first Australian record, before an immature was seen on the Cocos Islands in late 2005.


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Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2006 Visits Last Modified 26th November 2006