Birdwatching Margaret River: A guide for nature lovers

Blue wrens, honeyeaters and black cockatoos – here’s where to find them

Watching and listening to birds in their natural habitat is a relaxing way to re-connect with nature.

For visitors, birdwatching in Margaret River may not rank as highly as spotting a kangaroo  but one thing’s for sure, there’s plenty of opportunity to view Australia’s feathered fauna here.

Spotting the birds of the South West is a fun way to get out and about in the great outdoors. On a bird walk not only will you encounter the avifauna (galahs, wrens, cockatoos) you’ll experience the beautiful landscape of this great region too.

Here are 7 places around the Margaret River region that make birdwatching an easy and fun day out.

'Pink and grey' Galahs in Dunsborough

‘Pink and grey’ Galahs are popular in Dunsborough and Busselton – Photo by Jennifer Morton

Birds of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

A trek along the Cape to Cape Track is a fantastic way to explore the amazing coastline of the Margaret River region and go for a bird walk at the same time. The track runs between the Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin lighthouses and it’s just as popular for a day hike as it is to walk the entire 135kms. At Naturaliste, look for Scrub Wrens, Southern Emu-wrens and dainty New Holland Honeyeaters. Take your pick of coastal track sections for opportunities to view seabirds soaring offshore or the coastal-scrub-loving Rock Parrots, often found playing at the old waterwheel, near Cape Leeuwin. While in Augusta, you may also see Yellow-nosed Albatross and Australian Gannet in winter months.

Busselton birdwatching: Swamphens in the Vasse wetlands

Swamphens in the Vasse wetlands – Photo by Jennifer Morton

Bird spotting at the Vasse River Delta, Busselton

Bird observation aplenty at the Vasse River Delta, which runs along the edge of Busselton’s Central Business District. The river along Peel Terrace may not look like much but the birds love it. Here you’ll see numerous Corellas and Pink Galahs (and lots of seagulls) mingling it up on the lawns and in the trees. You’ll probably see Common Bronzewings, a medium-sized pigeon waddling around in pairs too. The trail to the Wetlands Bird Hide begins at the Old Butter Factory and is an easy walk for everyone (suitable for prams too). Here you’ll see a wide variety of waterbirds: ducks, Little Grassbirds, Purple Swamphens, Yellow-billed Spoonbills and much more.

Corella on the banks of the Margaret River

Corella on the banks of the Margaret River – Photo by Jennifer Morton

Feathered friends at Margaret River Rotary Park

Just before arriving in the Margaret River townsite is Rotary Park and an easy bush walk that runs along the river. The shady forest is a welcome respite to the summer heat and a chance to watch native bird life. Look for Western Rosella, Splendid and Red-winged Fairy-Wrens. If you’re lucky, you may spot a Crested Shrike-tit, a cute bright yellow native bird with a black mohawk.

ring neck parrot

Ring neck parrots – also known as 28 parrots – are prevalent in Yallingup

Boranup bird life

A walk through the Boranup Karri Forest will pretty much guarantee bird encounters. Tread softly and you may see the Splendid Fairywren (bright blue), Lorikeet, White-breasted Robin, Golden Whistler, and many more colourful birds in flight.

Tropicbird sightings at Sugarloaf Rock

The large and majestic Red-tailed Tropicbird spends most of its life at sea but if you’re lucky, you may get a glimpse of a pair or two spending time on the shores of Sugarloaf Rock, just south of Cape Naturaliste. Look for their large white bodies and bright red beak and matching tail (which looks more like a string).

Get up close and personal with birds of prey

For an intimate bird encounter, visit Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre. The Margaret River nature park offers patrons a chance to don a glove (one of those massive, thick leather ones) and have a falcon or eagle perch upon it. There are 2 daily “flight displays” – 11am and 1:30pm. Cost: $18 adult $12 child.

Blue Wrens on the balcony at Wildwood Valley Cottages

Blue Wren Cottage is so named for these bright and beautiful little birds we so often see flitting around the property. Stay still and quiet and you’ll often spot a blue wren and his girlfriends, they’ve even been known to perch upon a coffee cup on the balcony.

Pelican at Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp

Pelican at Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp – Photo by Jennifer Morton

Native and visiting birds just about everywhere

The good thing about Yallingup and the Margaret River region is you don’t have to go far to do some birdwatching, and most of it is free. There are a wide range of birds in every backyard, along every coastline and in every park. You just need to listen, look and observe their peaceful way of life. Take a walk along the Busselton and Dunsborough foreshores and keep watch for Cockatoos, Corellas, Ring-Neck Parrots and fan-tailed Willie Wagtails flittering about on the lawns. When visiting winery cellar doors, you may spot a Red-breasted Robin, a Splendid Fairywren or a White tailed Black Cockatoo. And finally, head to the Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp where you may get to photograph a meandering pelican.

Photos by Jennifer Morton

More inspiration for your Yallingup holiday

Looking for quality Yallingup Accommodation?

Look no further than Wildwood Valley Cottages set in rural Yallingup. Check our Accommodation Specials for off-peak deals.

Honeybee Studio is a studio style cottage with an open plan bedroom-living room with a kitchenette, and a spa with a beautiful valley view. Perfect for a couple – no children.

Dragonfly and Butterfly Cottages can be configured with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms and 1 or 2 bedrooms. They’re perfect for 2 people with plenty of room, or up to 6 people. There’s a large kitchen, living room and ocean views from the balcony.

Blue Wren Cottage is Carlo and Sioban’s old home, so it’s spacious and comfortable. There’s a chef’s kitchen, big balcony, 2 or 3 bedrooms and plenty of room. Have a roaring fire in winter or put on the reverse cycle air conditioning to keep cool.


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