Completely surrounded by forests and close to the coast and waterways, Northcliffe and Windy Harbour are perfect destinations for dedicated birders to add some South West WA endemics to their lists and to spot forest, water and shorebirds.
Explore the beach and coastal heath at Windy Harbour and through D’Entrecasteaux NP for regulars including Sooty Oystercatchers, Ruddy Turnstones, Red-capped Plovers, Pacific Gulls, Splendid Fairy-wrens, Red-winged Fairy-wrens, Southern Emu-wrens, Rock Parrots along with several raptors including Brown Falcons and Nankeen Kestrels. Keep watch for occasional vulnerable visitors such as Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos, Hooded Plovers and Southern Rockhopper Penguins.
D’Entrecasteaux NP also provides habitat for waterbirds with a series of permanent and ephemeral lakes, several rivers and the immense natural inlet Broke Inlet. Look for Black Swans, ducks and grebes, White-faced Herons, Nankeen Night-heron and Australasian Swamphens, Sacred Kingfishers, keep watch for some of the more elusive Crakes! Drop in to Mt Chudalup to look for White-browed Babblers, Red-winged Fairy-wrens, White-breasted Robins, Rufous Treecreepers, Western Whistlers and many other forest birds. Watch overhead for the resident Wedge-tailed Eagles.
The Northcliffe Forest Park nature reserve and other forested areas which border the Northcliffe townsite provide a home for many species year-round and for migratory species. Common species found include New Holland Honeyeater, Grey Fantail, White-browed Scrubwren, Red-eared Firetails, Common Bronzewing, Little and Red Wattlebirds, Carnaby’s and Baudin’s Black-Cockatoos, Red-tailed Black-cockatoos, Western Whistler, White-breasted Robin, Scarlet Robin, Willie Wagtail, Restless Flycatcher, White-browed Babbler, Rufous Treecreepers, Splendid Fairy-wrens, Red-winged Fairy-wrens, Twenty-eight Parrots, Purple-crowned Lorikeets, Western Gerygone, and when our Tall Kangaroo Paws are in flower, Western Spinebills. At night, a drive or walk will often reward you with sightings of Tawny Frogmouths, Southern Boobooks, Owlet-nightjars and the occasional Eastern Barn Owl, Australasian Masked Owl or Spotted Nightjar. Drop your speed at night so you don’t harm our nocturnal birds. The Great Forest Trees Drive in Shannon National Park is also a great spot for a nocturnal spotting outing.
The farmland around Northcliffe also offers a chance to spot some of our birdlife. Look for raptors and other predatory birds hunting from fences and other vantage points, and Emus, Australian Wood Ducks and Australian Shelducks will often be seen in farmland.