Margaret River is a bird watcher’s paradise and the Cape to Cape Track birdlife is a real highlight for hikers in the region. With terrain ranging from soaring coastal cliffs to towering forest and coastal heathland, there is a huge variety of bird species that call the Cape to Cape Track home.
We asked Christine Wilder, who runs the Cape to Cape Bird Group, to tell us all about her favourite five birds often spotted on the Track. As a former bird watching tour guide working at destinations around the world, Christine knows her birds! All the photos in the post are supplied by keen Busselton photographer Ray Heslewood. Thanks Ray!
Favourite Cape to Cape Track birdlife
Christine says it’s tough to narrow in on her favourite bird species in the Margaret River region. “As a bird guide for a track tour operator some years ago and having walked sections of the Cape to Cape Track over time, many birds come to mind,” she says.
“For example the falcons – Peregrine Falcon, Brown Falcon, Australian Hobby and Nankeen Kestrel. Australasian Gannets, Pacific and Silver Gulls are often seen close to shore. Then you’ve got many parrot species. But the more common bush birds are much more subtle, due to their habitat.” So here are Christine’s top picks for birds to spot while hiking the Track on a guided or self-guided adventure with Cape To Cape Explorer Tours. And why she’s fond of them, in her own words.
Christine says: “The ‘not so big five’ are the birds that may be seen anywhere along the Track. And of these small bush birds the White-breasted Robin is my favourite. A species endemic to the south west, this handsome robin in steel grey and white plumage, will often suddenly appear, perched on the track or side of a peppermint trunk or small branch. It has an easily recognisable call when hidden in the dense thickets.
“The Splendid Fairy-wren is of course high on the list of everybody’s favourite bird. That’s especially true thanks to the vibrant coloured male in breeding plumage.
Spotted Scrubwren and Silvereyes
“The White-rowed Scrubwren (also known as the Spotted Scrubwren) is a lovely bird but can be difficult to see well. And what about the wonderful “tinkly” calls and whisperings of the Silvereyes when we are out walking? They are the cheekiest little green-grey birds!
New Holland Honeyeater
“The New Holland Honeyeater is an icon. And it’s possibly overlooked because it is one of our most abundant honeyeaters. On your walk you may be lucky to see quite a few other honeyeater species as well. these include the Red and Western Wattlebirds, Western Spinebill, Brown Honeyeater, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Gilbert’s Honeyeater and Tawny-crowned Honeyeater.
“So there you have it! My ‘big little five’ to look out for next time you take a stroll along the Track!”
Thanks for the great info Christine! To book your guided or self-guided Cape to Cape Track adventure, click HERE.