Trip Report – South Australia and SW Western Australia
Just back from a 6 day jaunt across the Nullarbor with Rohan Clarke and then a couple of extra nights around Perth. The trip was built around finding two bird species – Nullarbor Quail-thrush and Naretha Bluebonnet but we had plenty of time to chase mammals and other fancy stuff.
Main sites visited
- Telowie Gorge Conservation Park – We had a Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby about 1km up the gorge where it starts to narrow – very cool animal. Euro should be gettable here too but we were there early afternoon.
- Whyalla Conservation Park – mid afternoon with birds the highlight here.
- Ironstone Hill Conservation Park – A little known or visited mallee park. We visited here as it has records of Sandhill dunnart and grasswren. We didn’t get either but did get Mallee Ningaui and Western Pygmy Possums in a long night of spotlighting/thermal camera.
- Yumbarra Conservation Park – Not much luck with small mammal hunting but we did have a few bats on sunset at the rockhole area. Birds the heroes here.
- Nullarbor Roadhouse – Heaps of wombat burrows north of the roadhouse. We scoped one individual on top of burrow before sunset. None seen in a couple of hours of spotlighting/thermal camera.
- Cocklebiddy to Rawlinna road – Red and Western Grey Kangaroos in good numbers. Active wombat burrows around 82km from highway. The road itself is rather rough.
- Jilbadgi Nature Reserve – Access into this reserve is difficult as mining companies seem to have blocked/taken over a number of access roads – we eventually found our way in towards the SW of the park but lost valuable recce time. We had high hopes here as several dunnart species have been recorded – I even saw a likely mouse/rat during the day. Good numbers of bats on sunset. Frustrating evening with thermal camera as a number of small mammals picked up but could not get light on any. Birds again the heroes of this site.
- Mount Caroline Nature Reserve – good numbers of isolated WA Wheatbelt Black-footed Rock-wallabies here. Park at the information sign and walk up the easement.
- Tone-Perup area – what a place!!! Numbat, Chuditch, Western Brush and Tammar wallabies, Western Ring-tailed Possum, Woylies and a bonus Western Pygmy Possum crossing the road and all in under 24 hours + change – really need to get back here with more time!
- Dryandra – spent an evening spotlighting casaurina areas in the hope of RT tree weasels but no luck. Echidna and another Western Brush Wallaby
- Echidna – Finally saw a couple at Dryandra – surprised it took so long!
- Western Quoll – One finally seen on some roadkill on Corbalup Road at Perup at about 1am. Another probable about 2km further south
- Southern Ningaui – Single animal picked up in thermal camera and spotlit at Ironstone Hill CP
- Numbat – Single animal on Pollard Road in the Perup area
- Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat – Single animal scoped sitting outside burrow north of the Nullabor roadhouse. Many active burrows in the area. Active burrows also found 82km north of Cocklebiddy
- Western Pygmy-possum – Two animals picked up in thermal camera at Ironstone Hill CP and another animal crossing road in Perup area
- Western Ring-tailed Possum – Three animals seen in melaleuca about 500 meters from entrance to Perup Guesthouse area
- Common Brush-tailed Possum – Common in Perup and Dryandra
- Brush-tailed Bettong – Three animals seen during night drive in Perup area
- Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby – Single animal in Telowie Gorge about 1.5km from carpark where Gorge narrows
- Black-footed Rock-wallaby – Quite easily seen at Mount Caroline NR
- Western Grey Kangaroo – Common in range
- Eastern Grey Kangaroo – A few seen on drive through Victoria
- Tammar Wallaby – 2 animals near intersection of Northern and Cranbrook Roads in Perup area
- Western Brush Wallaby – Single animal on Northern Road in Perup area and another near Lol Grey lookout in Dryandra
- Red Kangaroo – Plains country north of Cocklebiddy
- House Mouse – Single animal picked up in the thermal camera at Ironstone Hill CP
- Feral Cat
- White-striped Free-tailed Bat – Many heard and several spotlit in Jilbadgi NR, Perup and Dryandra
- Gould’s Wattled Bat – Spotlit and confirmed by bat detector at Yumbarra and Jilbadgi NR
- Chocolate Wattled Bat – Spotlit and confirmed by bat detector at Yumbarra and Jilbadgi NR
- Southern Forest Bat – Jilbadgi NR – other vespadilus types in SW WA sites
Road killed – camel, fox and swamp wallaby
Some great reptiles and a couple of frogs
Birds including Naretha Bluebonnet, Nullarbor and Copperback Quail-thrush, Scarlet-chested Parrot