Key Species : Freckled Duck (chance), Great Crested Grebe, Spinifex Pigeon, Striated Grasswren (good chance), Grey-headed Honeyeater, Spinifexbird.
Newman (Post Office S23° 21´ 22" E119° 43´ 50") is a mining town located about 1,200km from Perth on the Great Northern Highway, and about 420km from Port Hedland. Karajini National Park and the Hamersley Ranges are worth visiting also. From Perth, head north east on the Great Northern Highway to Wubin, Payne's Find, and north to Cue and Meekatharra to Newman.
1. Newman Caravan Park (S23° 21´ 49" E119° 44´ 37")
Behind the Newman Caravan Park is one of the easiest sites to access where you have a good chance of finding the Striated Grasswren. From the right back corner of the caravan park, follow the track for 700 metres to the junction of five tracks (S23° 22´ 15" E119° 44´ 28"). Any of the slopes in this area is a potential for Striated Grasswren. Don't go around the hill with the red flag on top that you passed on your right, as this is a firing range.
In November 2005, I went across and followed the track through the valley for about 200 metres (S23° 20´ 15" E119° 44´ 31"). You get to a track that leads to the top of the hill on your left, and a very narrow track that leads to the top of the hill on your right. I followed the track up to the right, and then along the top of the ridge to the next gully on the right and I heard the Striated Grasswren (S23° 22´ 24" E119° 44´ 27") on both mornings down the slope. A better plan of attack probably would have been to walk up the track to the right on the left side of the fence for about 150 to 200 metres and then walk up the slope (S23° 22´ 22" E119° 44´ 25"). It is not too difficult to move between the spinifex clumps most of the way up the hill along this part of the slope. You would be much closer to the birds when they call, and you would have a much better chance of seeing them running between the spinifex clumps.
In August 2008, just before dusk, I located three Striated Grasswrens calling about 40 metres along the narrow track on the right. I followed the calls and finally had excellent views of a bird singing from the top of a dead bush. I recommend that you start here and slowly work your way along and through the lower slopes where the spinifex clumps are at least knee high. Two weeks later I found about 100 metres further along the track, along a track through the gully on the left. Spinifexbird can also be found in this area.
2. Opthalmia Dam (S23° 20´ 31" E119° 52´ 45")
Drive south from Newman for about 3km, and turn left on to the road to Nullagine. Follow this sealed road for about 11km and then turn right on to the unsealed road. Cross the creek and turn right. The road is corrugated but is suitable for 2WDs. The total distance is about 19km from Newman. The water level varies greatly from year to year. Look for waterbirds and waders such as Plumed Whistling-Duck, Wandering Whistling-Duck, possible Freckled Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Darter, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Red-necked Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Red-capped Plover and Australian Pratincole.
Newman Caravan Park, Kalgan Drive, Newman 6753 (08 9175 1428)
|Dearlove's Caravan Park, Cowra Drive, Newman 6753 (08 9175 2802)|
|© Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2010||Visits||Last Modified 15th May 2010|