WA’s offshore islands are a paradise for birdwatchers as many of the birds aren’t exposed to most of the predators found on mainland. These islands are home to an extensive range of beautiful birds and seabirds, as well as some quintessentially Australian flora and fauna.
Christmas Island (2600km northwest of Perth) is home to an extensive range of birds that inhabit the rainforest and limestone cliffs. At the beginning of the wet season (October/November) millions of red crabs migrate from the forest to the coast, attracting huge numbers of birds.
You can take a charter to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands (offshore from Geraldton) where you can birdwatch at one of the most important seabird nesting habitats in the country – you’ll see everything from noddies and shearwaters to terns and sea eagles.
At Dirk Hartog Island, surrounded by the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, birdwatchers can spot 81 bird species, as well as the unique fauna of the National Park.
Woody Island (15km from Esperance) is also a top pick for birdwatching, and is heavily wooded, providing shade and habitat for its abundant bird and wildlife. The trees are home to many woodland bird species including golden whistlers, spotted pardaloutes, sacred kingfishers, red-eared firetail finches, singing honeyeaters and rock parrots.
One of the closest options to Perth (less than one hour’s drive south) is the Shoalwater Islands. These islands are designated bird sanctuaries and nesting sites for colonies of Australian Pelicans. Only Penguin Island is accessible – daily from mid-September through to June – and you can visit the discovery centre to watch the rare little penguins interact as they would in the wild.