Welcome to Birdquest

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Tuesday 5th September - Wednesday 27th September 2017

ANDY JENSEN

Black Grasswren, the star of the northwest! (Andy Jensen).

Black Grasswren, the star of the northwest! (Andy Jensen).

Western Australia, if it were a country, would be the 10th largest in the world! The BirdQuest Western Australia (including Christmas Island) 2017 tour offered an unrivalled opportunity to cover a large portion of this area, as well as the offshore territory of Christmas Island (located closer to Indonesia than mainland Australia).

Western Australia is a highly diverse region with a range of habitats. It has been shaped by the isolation caused by the surrounding deserts. This isolation has resulted in a richly diverse fauna, with a high degree of endemism. A must visit for any birder. This tour covered a wide range of the habitats Western Australia has to offer as is possible in three weeks, including the temperate Karri and Wandoo woodlands and mallee of the southwest, the coastal heathlands of the southcoast, dry scrub and extensive uncleared woodlands of the goldfields, coastal plains and mangroves around Broome, and the red-earth savannah habitats and tropical woodland of the Kimberley. The climate varied dramatically Conditions ranged from minus 1c in the Sterling Ranges where we were scraping ice off the windscreen, to nearly 40c in the Kimberley, where it was dust needing to be removed from the windscreen! We were fortunate with the weather – aside from a few minutes of drizzle as we staked out one of the skulkers in the Sterling Ranges, it remained dry the whole time. Three weeks offered a whistle-stop tour of these habitats and the special birds they have to offer, and we recorded a tremendous total of 342 species (including four heard only) in just over three weeks.

Chestnut-backed Buttonquail was a very nice bonus on the 2017 tour (Andy Jensen).

Chestnut-backed Buttonquail was a very nice bonus on the 2017 tour (Andy Jensen).