Araluen’s unique setting offers a variety of habitats suited to many different birds providing them with shelter, nest sites, a wide range of food sources and permanent water. Some will be residents, some visit seasonally while others will pass through occasionally.
Seasonal notes are available at the entrance of the Park.
The elements of the habitats include:
- Many hectares of Jarrah-Marri forest with dense undergrowth to areas of more open trees and rocky outcrops
- Stinton Creek with dense cover along most of the banks but some more open areas. Water, rocks and permanent pools
- Garden beds with a wide range of exotic and native plants of various heights, areas of lawn and water from reticulation in summer
- Very few predators that aren’t part of the natural bush
- Little use of pesticides that could harm birds
- Not disturbed for much of the year. There’s always somewhere safe.
If you see a bird and wonder what it is, there’s often only a few seconds, so:
- Most important: Did you see any distinctive colour or pattern which might be a clue? In some species, males are much brighter in late winter/spring; in others the sexes are quite similar with only subtle differences in the colours
- Was it tiny (like a wren) or larger? Can you estimate its length?
- Was it feeding? If so, on the ground, in a shrub, up in a tree, in water? What was it eating e.g seeds, insects, nectar?
- Was it alone or in a group?
- Did it do anything particularly noticeable or different?
- Where was it in the Park? e.g on a lawn, in the bush, by or in the creek, in a particular garden bed, up in a tree canopy, flying overhead etc.
- Some birds have very distinctive calls which become familiar with time. Many can be heard in recordings on-line. It’s the background twittering that is hard to identify
Autumn brings shorter days, lower temperatures and hopefully good rain fall that will continue into winter. This is an excellent time to see birds as the young adults are moving around feeding before settling into territories to breed in the spring. They are not so secretive and the Park is a bit more open with deciduous trees and pruning.
This is the main breeding season for most of the birds in the Park depending on the weather and the increasing length in daylight. There is an abundance of food for nestlings, water and shelter though some birds may move into the quieter areas of the bushland to breed. Cuckoos call frequently. Sacred Kingfishers return in October and mark the change to much longer and warmer days.
These are the months of sometimes extreme heat with little rain. The Park, with shade and permanent water provides safe shelter for the many species that choose to stay. This is also the time to see wedge-tailed eagles, red-tailed black cockatoos and many parrots.
- the Contour Walk from the Chalet, through the rose garden, the adjacent bush, the bridge and along the creek – often several different insectivorous birds.
- The lawn area and its edges adjacent to the Mary Hargreaves Pergola – birds that like a bit of safe, sunny open space.
- From the Entry Car Park down to and along Stinton Creek.
Further information on any of these birds may be found in bird books and through Google on websites and blogs. Some calls have been recorded.
Like plants, names of some birds have been upgraded but generally they are referred to by documented common names accepted all over Australia. These names are used here.
Note that some birds belong to a subspecies or ‘a race’ found in southwest WA. This is usually mentioned in reference books, bird maps and reference websites and means the appearance and calls in southwest WA differ somehow from the same species in the ES.
e.g Australian magpie
Others are so different genetically that the species is found only in southwest WA.
e.g Red-winged Fairy-wren
www.wabirdingblog.blogspot.com.au Has detailed lists, photos, correct names and a lot of scientific detail on local birds including lists of birds found only in southwest WA.
www.roleybushcare.com/bush-topics/ lots of useful local information
Birdlife Australia – the main birdwatching organisation: www.birdlife.org.au All about birds/ Australia’s birds/find a bird. Very detailed information about birds and bird-watching. However, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to locate sufficient detail for those birds found only in southwest WA.
There are likely to be many more, but they need to be confirmed for this year.
The bird list has increased since the surveys began in the autumn of 2012 and there are now 53 species confirmed, although some of these are only occasional visitors.