Jerramungup Birding Sites

Key Species : Emu, Malleefowl (best chance), Stubble Quail, Brown Quail, Chestnut Teal, Square-tailed Kite (spring/summer chance), Spotted Harrier, Short-billed Black-Cockatoo, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Regent Parrot, Pallid Cuckoo, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Southern Emu-wren, Spotted (Yellow-rumped) Pardalote, Western Bristlebird, Shy Heathwren, White-eared Honeyeater, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Southern Scrub-robin, White-browed Babbler, Western Whipbird (best chance), Crested Bellbird.

The Fitzgerald River National Park is 330,000 hectares.  It was created because of the extremely diverse flora but it also a good area for a wide variety of birds with about 210 species being recorded in the area.  The park stretches from near Bremer Bay in the west to Hopetoun in the east and close to Ravensthorpe and Jerramungup in the north.

Jerramungup (Post Office S33 56 29" E118 55 13") is a good place to stay to explore the western part of the national park and surrounding area.  It is about 450km south east of Perth by road.  I usually go to Jerramungup via the Dryandra State Forest near Narrogin, and then follow on to Albany or the Stirling Range.  Alternatively this is a very good place to visit on the way to or from Esperance.

Also see the Birds Australia WA Inc. series of bird guide brochures including Fitzgerald River.

 

1. Quiss Road

Quiss Road is 19km east of Jerramungup.  It is the main access road to the western side of the Fitzgerald River National Park.  The distances given in parentheses are south from the South Coast Highway.

Fitzgerald River National Park Information Centre (S33 53 11" E119 06 32") - The information centre is worth stopping at to look at the exhibits, and to collect some pamphlets and maps of the park.  You can sometimes hear Western Whipbird.

Fitzgerald River National Park Bed & Breakfast (10.5km Janine & Trevor Barrett S33 5x xx" E119 0x xx") - This is reported to be the best place to stay.  Not only this, but they have several active Malleefowl mounds on their property, plus you can find all the other mallee specialists such as Western Whipbird, Southern Scrub-robin, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Shy Heathwren.

Malleefowl Mound (10.6km S33 57 40" E119 09 56") - There is a Malleefowl mound just off the east side of the road about 140 metres south of the turnoff to the Fitzgerald River National Park B&B.  I don't know if it is still active.  I have also seen or heard Western Whipbird, Southern Scrub-robin, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Purple-gaped Honeyeater and Western Spinebill.

Fitzgerald River National Park Boundary (12.6km S33 58 30" E119 10 37") - I often hear Western Whipbird here.

Fitzgerald River National Park Fee Paying Station (13.8km S33 59 00" E119 11 05") - This is the best site that I know to see Western Whipbird.  Park at the fee station and listen for a whipbird to call.  They usually call from half way up a mallee or higher.  When you here the call, move along the road quickly to get as close as you can.  Then wait for it to call again, usually 10 to 15 minutes later.  You can usually see the bird on the third call.  You can also look for Crested Bellbird, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Southern Emu-wren, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Pallid Cuckoo, etc.

 

2. South Coast Highway (East of Jerramungup)

There are a number of sites that can be worth checking along the South Coast Highway.  The distances given in parentheses are from the T junction at Jerramungup.

Roadside Verge - If grain is being carted, then check along the roadside for parrots including Regent Parrot and Elegant Parrot.

Monkey Rock Road (5.3km S33 55 15" E118 58 22") - This corner looks nothing special, but over the years I have seen Budgerigar, Elegant Parrot, Red-capped Parrot, Rufous Songlark, White-winged Triller.

Gairdner River Bridge (5.5km S33 55 11" E118 58 28") - This is worth a quick stop to look for Chestnut Teal and other birds.

Stubble Quail site (6.6km S33 54 49" E118 59 01") - I have seen Stubble Quail several times in this area in the long grass between the road and the fence.  The best time to look is late in the afternoon, when you could be lucky to see them on the side of the road.

Roadside Mallee - It is possible to find Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Spotted (Yellow-rumped) Pardalote, Shy Heathwren, etc in good areas of mallee with some thicker undergrowth.

 

3. Fitzgerald River Bridge (S33 49 43" E119 15 46")

The Fitzgerald River bridge is a good chance to see Western Whipbird.  It is 35km east of Jerramungup where the South Coast Highway (Route 1) crosses the Fitzgerald River.  You can spend an hour here to look for specific birds, or half a day to a full day if you want to search the whole area.  It can be very quiet if it is windy or very hot.

Parking Spot (S33 49 38" E119 16 02") - There is a sand track about 300 metres east of the bridge on the left (north) side.  Park about 30 metres or so down this track.

Former Western Whipbird Site (S33 49 40" E119 16 01") - There is a partly overgrown track across the road from the parking spot.  Walk about 50 metres along this track until you cross an overgrown firebreak.  On this corner there is some mallee which is fairly open underneath.  This area is the best place that I have seen Western Whipbird although I have missed on my last two visits.  Walk slowly in this area until you hear it call.  Approach very slowly and look for it to run along the ground, or possibly call from a metre or so above the ground.  You can play the tape of the call for 5 to 10 seconds.  If you do, then wait for at least 10 minutes while the bird relocates and calls again.  This area is also good for Southern Scrub-robin, Purple-gaped Honeyeater and Spotted (Yellow-rumped) PardalotePurple-crowned Lorikeets can be very common at certain times of the year when the eucalypts are in flower.

Tall Eucalypts (S33 xx xx" E119 xx xx") - The area of tall eucalypts further down the track from the above site can be a good area for birds such as White-eared Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Spotted (Yellow-rumped) Pardalote, Varied Sittella, etc.

Power Lines (S33 xx xx" E119 xx xx") - The scrub between the highway and the power lines is a good area to look for Southern Scrub-robin, Purple-gaped Honeyeater and possible Western Whipbird.  Walk down the track where you park towards the river then turn right and then follow the power line up the hill.

The Bridge (S33 49 43" E119 15 46") - Look from the bridge for Chestnut Teal in the pools of water.  The trees to the south east of the bridge can be a good site for White-eared Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater and Varied Sittella.

North Of The Bridge (S33 xx xx" E119 xx xx") - You can walk north of the bridge along the east side of the river to look for Southern Scrub-robin, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren and possible Pallid Cuckoo.  There are some trees about 300 metres from the bridge with a small clearing and a thicket of bushes where I have seen Western Whipbird.

South Of The Bridge (S33 xx xx" E119 xx xx") - You can walk south of the bridge along the east side of the river for about a kilometre until you get to a sandy crossing of the river.  There is a fence line and a firebreak next to an open paddock.  There are Malleefowl in this area.

 

4. Twertup (S34 01 30" E119 22 30")

 

5. South Coast Highway (West of Jerramungup)

There are a number of sites that can be worth checking along the South Coast Highway.  The distances given in parentheses are from the T junction at Jerramungup.

Glentarkie Farm B&B (1.3km Harvey & Lyalya Reeves S33 56 16" E118 54 34") - This is another good place to stay.  There is not a lot of good areas close to the house, but you can look for Stubble Quail, Banded Lapwing, Brown Songlark and Southern Boobook.

Brown South Road (10.1km S33 57 26" E118 48 57") - There is an excellent area of open Yate woodland along the first 700 metres.  Start at the far end and walk back through the woodland.  I have seen Painted Button-quail, Regent Parrot, Red-capped Parrot, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, Western Spinebill and Blue-breasted Fairy-wren.

 

6. Corackerup Nature Reserve (S3x xx xx" E11x xx xx")

 

CALM National Park Office, Quiss Road, Jacup 6337 (08 9835 5043 Fax : 08 9835 5045)

Fitzgerald River National Park B&B (Janine & Trevor Barrett), Quiss Road, Jacup 6337 (Phone/Fax : 08 9835 5026)

Glentarkie Farm (Harvey and Lyalya Reeves), Jerramungup 6337 (08 9835 1006 Fax : 08 9835 1236)

Jerramungup Caravan Park, Mooreshead Road, Jerramungup 6337 (Phone : 08 9835 1174 Fax : 08 9835 1474)

 

Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2004 Visits Last Modified 14th May 2004