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Melbourne, Perth and Singapore

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Old Thursday 18th March 2010, 19:57   #1
iain johnson
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Melbourne, Perth and Singapore

Hi,

Will be visiting the above locations in a few weeks, with 4 days at each. Any suggestions for sopts around melbourne and perth would be appreciated that don't involve huge road trips and don't rely on permits, i.e. city centre-ish locations.

for singapore, have identified the following locations: Bot. gardens; east coast park; central catchment nature reserve; sungei buloh; macritchie reservoir; bukit timah and pulau ubin.

Any of these not worth bothering with?

Anywhere that I have missed which might yield an asian speciality or two?

and does the helm guide of birds of east asia cover all or the majority or the birds likely to be seen or is there a much field guide please?

thanks very much in advance for any help.

Cheers Iain
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Old Thursday 18th March 2010, 23:53   #2
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Hi Iain,

You've covered all the best areas in Singapore - but you can skip East Coast Park as you won't see anything that isn't in one of the others. The best field guide for Singapore (and all of Sth East Asia if you're likely to come back to the region) is Craig Robson's Birds of South-East Asia.

BTW if your purpose of visiting Sungei Buloh is waders then most if not all will be gone by the time you get here. Will still be coastal birds that like mangroves etc though

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Old Friday 19th March 2010, 00:17   #3
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Thanks Mike,

Just passing through on the way back top UK and thought I would take advantage of a stop over. Waders would be good, but not critical to the trip plus will only have bins so might struggle to id anything distant.

BTW, is there anywhere is recent bird news for Singapore please?

Thanks Iain
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Old Friday 19th March 2010, 11:10   #4
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Hi Iain,

You could subscribe to the yahoo group wildbirdSingapore, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wildbirdSingapore/. Its run by the Nature Society of Singapore.

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Old Friday 19th March 2010, 14:18   #5
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King's Park (Botanical Gardens?) in Perth is worth a look. Overlooks the city & there is probably a bus.
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Old Friday 19th March 2010, 15:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iain johnson View Post
Hi,

Will be visiting the above locations in a few weeks, with 4 days at each. Any suggestions for sopts around melbourne and perth would be appreciated that don't involve huge road trips and don't rely on permits, i.e. city centre-ish locations.



Cheers Iain
Hi Iain,

I grew up in Perth in my pre-birding days. I now live in the UK but have done a fair bit of birding in bits and pieces in/around Perth while visiting family over the last 10 years or so.

If you can only use public transport you will be somewhat limited, but there are some sites you could get to by bus or train if you are prepared to walk a bit once you get close by public transport.

The Botanic Gardens in Kings Park are worth a visit. Decent shot at Western Spinebill, one of the south-west Endemics, and various other honeyeaters, in partic Singing, Brown and New Holland. There is also some decent bush-land in the park, with occasional Cockatoos.

Lake Monger, about 10mins from the city by car up the freeway is good for various duck sp. and Western Corella (another endemic), and Herdsman Lake, a little further is a decent quality wetland (250+ sp.) with a visitor centre and boardwalks through the reeds, even if pressured by more and more housing developments around its edge.

The scrubby dunes at Floreat Beach have White-winged Fairywren and Black-shouldered Kite and inland from this is Bold Park, another area of "natural" bushland that would be good for honeyeaters, cuckoo-shrikes, etc. Not sure about Fairy-wrens there. The Birds Australia hq is nearby at Perry Lakes.

Cockatoos (White-tailed and Red-tailed) can be seen in the city, but I don't think there is one particular reliable site since they roam widely. For example, while on holiday visiting family in July last year I had White-tailed (presumed Carnaby's) at Garden City Shopping Centre in Booragoon in July, and Red-tailed near Thornlie Primary School (pictures at http://www.picasaweb.com/iandreid). Actually I think the latter are most likely in the Canning River area, upstream from the old Riverton Bridge and upstream.

Bibra Lake (east shore) has a boardwalk and is good for ducks, ibises, rails/crakes, and in the scrub and woodland, Splendid Fairy-wren and other bush-birds. For large numbers of birds and lots of activity, I am fond of an evening stroll at not-widely-publicised site, Booragoon Lake, next to Leach Highway. Good numbers of four sp. of cormorant, darter, ibises, Nankeen Night-heron

For waders, the best bet would be either Alfred Cove in the afternoon (south shore of the river, the cove providing shelter from the string sea breeze), or take a trip over to Rottnest on the ferry and scan the salt-lakes (banded stilt, avocet, red-necked stint, etc) and also look out for Rock Parrot (and Quokka). However check with locals (eg Frank, see below) about whether waders will still be present; many will be heading back to their northern-hemisphere breeding grounds soon I guess.

Further afield:

Your best bet for bush-birds (including most/all of the endemics) would be to hire a car for a day or seek a birdingpal and head up to the hills. Darling Scarp inland of Perth (closest point about 30-40 mins drive away) has various national and state parks with some decent remnant Jarrah forest.

For example Kalamunda Nat Park is 40min from the city centre and there is a nice walk up Piesse Gully. A bit further away (1hr from the city centre) are Wungong Gorge and Bungendore Park, just after Albany Hwy forks off from SW Highway in Armadale. These are prob the best sites for endemics such as White-breasted Robin, Western Spinebill, Western Yellow Robin, Red-eared Firetail, Rufous Treecreeper, Red-capped Parrot, Western Rosella and the Cockatoos. One of the best looking birds, Splendid Fairy-wren, is pretty common and conspicuous in the right habitat, eg at Wungong.

You should definitly check out Frank O'Connor's excellent website about birding in WA (http://birdingwa.iinet.net.au/) if you haven't already done so, which is pretty-much the definitive guide and has good specific gen about most of the sites above, especially Rottnest and Wungong.

Hope this helps, Ian
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Old Friday 19th March 2010, 19:09   #7
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Perth, WA

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Originally Posted by ianreid View Post
Hi Iain,

I grew up in Perth in my pre-birding days. I now live in the UK but have done a fair bit of birding in bits and pieces in/around Perth while visiting family over the last 10 years or so.

If you can only use public transport you will be somewhat limited, but there are some sites you could get to by bus or train if you are prepared to walk a bit once you get close by public transport.

The Botanic Gardens in Kings Park are worth a visit. Decent shot at Western Spinebill, one of the south-west Endemics, and various other honeyeaters, in partic Singing, Brown and New Holland. There is also some decent bush-land in the park, with occasional Cockatoos.

Lake Monger, about 10mins from the city by car up the freeway is good for various duck sp. and Western Corella (another endemic), and Herdsman Lake, a little further is a decent quality wetland (250+ sp.) with a visitor centre and boardwalks through the reeds, even if pressured by more and more housing developments around its edge.

For waders, the best bet would be either Alfred Cove in the afternoon (south shore of the river, the cove providing shelter from the string sea breeze), or take a trip over to Rottnest on the ferry and scan the salt-lakes (banded stilt, avocet, red-necked stint, etc) and also look out for Rock Parrot (and Quokka). However check with locals (eg Frank, see below) about whether waders will still be present; many will be heading back to their northern-hemisphere breeding grounds soon I guess.

Hope this helps, Ian
As a non-Aussie tourist who has also done a bit of birdwatching in Perth, I thought that I would give you the benefit of my visits, too.

I had about a week in Perth in both July 2006 and November 2008. In the latter I reached King's Park by foot from the CBD (quite a long walk, 'tis true, along the Swan River and past some bird rich little lakes) and left it by one of the free CAT (Central Area Transit) buses (red, I think) from Ord or Outram Street a few small blocks just to the north. Another day I reached Lake Monger from Leederville railway station just north of the centre (railway to Warwick and beyond), about 1km walk from the station to the lake. The lake is quite a long walk round, although I saw lots of birds in the SE part. As a fan of Rottnest Island I would say to definitely go there. The first time I was there, with my children in 2006, we cycled to the western point after a quick look at one of the lakes. In 2008 I walked to the SE corner of the island and visited a few of the lakes. So far I've dipped the rock parrot and avocet!

One other suggestion, if you want a drink and a meal in a place with several Australian bird species round about, visit the Lucky Shag at Barrack Street Jetty. That is an easy walk from the CBD.

Allen
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Old Saturday 20th March 2010, 13:00   #8
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I birded the Perth area by public transport over a couple of days and would recomend Wungong gorge and Bugendore Park near Armadale (quite a walk up the hill but worth it) for SW endemics, and Herdsman Lake in the north of the city for wildfowl.
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Old Saturday 20th March 2010, 13:22   #9
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Hi Ian

We've articles in Opus on the Perth Area, Adelaide (which covers Melbourne) and also Singapore.

I do hope some of these will give you a few ideas as well.

D
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Old Saturday 20th March 2010, 14:39   #10
Allen S. Moore
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Herdsman Lake

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Originally Posted by chowchilla View Post
I birded the Perth area by public transport over a couple of days and would recomend Wungong gorge and Bugendore Park near Armadale (quite a walk up the hill but worth it) for SW endemics, and Herdsman Lake in the north of the city for wildfowl.
Tony,

How did you reach Herdsman Lake using public transport? I might give it a try some time.

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Old Sunday 21st March 2010, 00:00   #11
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Originally Posted by ianreid View Post

Lake Monger, about 10mins from the city by car up the freeway is good for various duck sp. and Western Corella (another endemic)
Unfortunately, almost all the corellas in metro Perth are introduced Little or Eastern Long-billed, which throws quite a lot of birders (particularly visitors). Most of the corellas in the flocks around Lake Monger are Little, with a few Eastern Long-billed thrown in. Western would be possible but very rare.

Other than that, Ian's gen is pretty much spot on . Bibra Lake may well be dry though. 250+ species might be a bit optimistic for Herdsman, even including all vagrants ever recorded (you can get 50-60+ species in a couple of hours though). There should still be a few waders around at Alfred Cove and Rottnest, although quite a few will probably have gone north already.

If you're limited to public transport, then you can check Transperth website which has a journey planner which might be useful (see http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/). You can get to at least King's Park, Herdsman Lake, Lake Monger, Bold Park and Floreat Beach by public transport. Also Alfred Cove if you're willing to walk a few hundred metres.
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Old Sunday 21st March 2010, 00:06   #12
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Tony,

How did you reach Herdsman Lake using public transport? I might give it a try some time.

Allen
Hi Allen,

There are four buses that stop near Herdsman as far as I know, the 92, 401, 98 (circleroute) and 99 (circleroute). I used to catch the 92 from the city along Wellington St, opposite the Wellington St Bus Station

Again, the Transperth website (see above post) will probably be useful

Hope that helps
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Old Sunday 21st March 2010, 13:01   #13
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Tony,

How did you reach Herdsman Lake using public transport? I might give it a try some time.

Allen
As John said, by bus. Quite easy to get to really.
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Old Saturday 27th March 2010, 22:14   #14
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Guys,

thanks for the info so far, extremely useful.

Singapore
re the birds of of SE asia guide, are there copies available in book stores in singapore? Can't find a copy in NZ and if available when I arrive, might as well save the weight and shipping costs!

Read a report on Eremaea birds for savanna nightjar at tiger brewery tuas. presume these are migratory birds and will be leaving SGP in next few weeks? Or are they just arriving/ present all year and easy to find at this or other localities?

Also, any spotted wood owl roosts that anyone could provide directions for please via PM?

Australia
for both melbourne and perth, are there any city centre owl roosts, e.g. powerful, sooty etc? Thought I'd read that these can be seen in Melbourne's botanical gardens?

Will Rock Parrot still be on Rottnest in April, info suggests that they are summer visitor??

Thanks Iain

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Old Saturday 27th March 2010, 22:29   #15
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Hi Iain,

Savanna Nightjars are resident - we also have resident Large-tailed and Malaysian Eared. The only migratory nightjar we get are Greys. Both Savanna and Large-tailed are common with Savanna being present in quite a few grassland areas.

For Spotted Wood Owl try the Botanical Gardens - resident one around Eco Lake.

If you haven't seen it this wiki gives highlevel of what to see where: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...d_relatives.29

For Robson's guide the bigger bookstores e.g. Borders, usually have a copy or two. Assuming you end up at the Botanical Gardens then the gift store there has a selection of birding books as well and should have copies.

Cheers
Mike
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Old Sunday 28th March 2010, 06:13   #16
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G'day again Iain,

Perth isn't great for night birds generally; Southern Boobook and Tawny Frogmouth are fairly common, Barn Owls less common but around. Other than that, not much.

As far as I know, Rock Parrots are resident on Rottnest and should be around. They're not always easy to find though
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Old Sunday 28th March 2010, 12:49   #17
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Old Monday 29th March 2010, 11:32   #18
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Sorry to hijack this post but I'm taking a cruise down the Swan River from Perth to Freemantle this November (Captain Cook Cruises).

Obviously will be taking the 'bins. Any ideas on waders, or indeed other birds, to look out for along the river, any specific hot spots to be aware of?

Many thanks in advance.
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Old Monday 29th March 2010, 12:05   #19
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G'day Steve,

Alfred Cove is the best spot on the Swan River for waders but I don't know that you'd get very close to shore there on a cruise.

In fact, I'd expect the cruise to be fairly quiet bird-wise, but you should have a decent chance of getting Crested & Caspian Tern, Australasian Darter, up to four cormorants (Great, Pied, Little Pied & Little Black), Black Swan, Australian Pelican, fair chance of Osprey (now split as Eastern Osprey), Silver Gull, maybe Pied Oystercatcher and probably a few other things. It'll depend a bit on how close to shore the boat goes, you'd probably get a few more species and better views if it goes close to shore, but I don't know that it will
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Old Monday 29th March 2010, 16:17   #20
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John,

As I thought really. Still you never know, Eastern Osprey would be good.

Thanks for the reply
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Old Tuesday 30th March 2010, 08:39   #21
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Mike/ John,

Thanks for the replies! Pretty much got a plan now.

Mike, is the sime road area still good for nightjar and safe?? My understanding is that SGP is safe in general but don't really want to test this theory!

Staying in Little India, is Sime Road the closest spot for nightjars or can you suggest anywhere else please? And is st john's island still the only spot for pied imperial pigeon and is it worth the trip out there, i.e. other species?

John, will be in perth over the weekend and wondered if you would be or whether you know of anyone who would be interested in a day's birding to the wungong gorge please? happy to cover the petrol costs.

Steve - no worries mate!

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Old Tuesday 30th March 2010, 11:32   #22
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No worries, Iain

I'm normally happy to show visitors around some of the local spots but my car was damaged last week in a storm so I haven't got a car right now and I don't think it'll be fixed for the weekend (I assume you mean this weekend 3 & 4 April). I will ask around and see if I can find anyone to help out

EDIT: Being the Easter weekend, I suspect a lot of people will be tied up, but I'll ask and see. You could also try the birdingPal website http://www.birdingpal.org/Australianew.htm#7
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Old Tuesday 30th March 2010, 23:53   #23
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Hi John,

thanks for the reply. Don't arrive in Perth until April 21st so it would be the weekend of April 24th/ 25th. if you have a car by then or know of anyone else who is keen that would be great. hoping to visit rotto during the week, may be busy saturday (i used to live in perth ten years ago) catching up with old friends but the sunday is good.

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Old Wednesday 31st March 2010, 01:45   #24
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Oops! My mistake!

I had found someone who was happy to show you around, but I assume my car will be up and running by then in which case I'd be happy to take you out to Wungong Gorge and maybe a couple of other spots nearby. Is it safe to assume your main targets are the SW endemics? Otherwise, feel free to give me a list of things you'd like to see, or we can just head out and see what's around

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Old Wednesday 31st March 2010, 02:20   #25
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Hi Iain,

The one thing you don't have to worry about in Singapore is safety! Yes Sime Rd is a good location. In fact all of the places you've mentioned going to have nightjars.

Pied Imperial Pigeons are I think pretty much restricted to the southern islands off Singapore. You could well see one if you head over the western part of Singapore but I wouldn't bet on them being wild as they're much more likely to be free flying birds from the Jurong Bird Park. The other species which is on the islands and not the rest of Singapore is Beach Stone Curlew but they're very rare.

Cheers
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