Inala’s Pilbara and Shark Bay - Western Australia - Ancient landscapes, birds and mammals - Aug-Sept 2021

Star Finches - Alfred Schulte - Inala Nature Tours
Star Finches - Alfred Schulte - Inala Nature Tours
Duration: 
14 days
Price: 
Estimated TBC AU$9,990 per person sharing for a min group size of 3 people Single supplement: $1,200
Overview: 

Join us on an extensive and thorough tour of this vast region, taking in a wide variety of habitats such as spinifex-covered ranges, rocky gorges and extensive mudflats. The scenery throughout the Pilbara and Shark Bay regions is incredible, and of course there is some unique wildlife. Possible highlights include Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Pilbara Grasswren, Western Bowerbird, Grey Honeyeater, Spinifexbird, Dusky Gerygone, White-breasted Whistler and with a bit of luck –Grey Falcon.  Mammals feature as well and wewill be looking for local specialties like Rothschild’s Rock Wallaby, Kaluta and Pilbara Pebble-mound Mouse. The Pilbara also contains some of the world's oldest surface rocks, including granites that are over three billion years old ancient fossilised remains of stromatolites (the earliest fossil evidence of life on earth)

Start Location: 
Port Hedland WA
Australia
Finish location: 
Port Hedland WA
Australia

Inala’s Pilbara and Shark Bay,Western Australia
Ancient landscapes, birds and mammals.
August-September 2021(exact dates TBA)

Itinerary prepared by Guides Steve Davidson and Frank O’Connor.

We are inviting expressions of interest for this exciting and rarely offered tour, for when we set specific dates, most likely Aug - Sept 2021, please get in touch to let us know your preferences.

Join us on an extensive and thorough tour of this vast region, taking in a wide variety of habitats such as spinifex-covered ranges, rocky gorges and extensive mudflats. The scenery throughout the Pilbara and Shark Bay regions is incredible, and of course there is some unique wildlife. Possible highlights include Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Pilbara Grasswren, Western Bowerbird, Grey Honeyeater, Spinifexbird, Dusky Gerygone, White-breasted Whistler and with a bit of luck –Grey Falcon.Mammals feature as well and we will be looking for local specialties like Rothschild’s Rock Wallaby, Kaluta and Pilbara Pebble-mound Mouse.The Pilbara also contains some of the world's oldest surface rocks,including granites that are over three billion years old ancient fossilised remains of stromatolites (the earliest fossil evidence of life on earth).

ITINERARY OUTLINE:

Day 1.Arrive Port Hedland.
Day 2. Port Hedland area.
Day 3.Port Hedland to Tom Pricevia Munjina.
Day 4.Tom Price area.
Day 5.Karijini National Park-Tom Price.
Day 6. Tom Price to Exmouth
Day 7. Exmouth to Denham/Monkey Mia.
Day 8.Shark Bay area.Denham/Monkey Mia.
Day 9.Shark Bay to Carnarvon.
Day 10. Carnarvon to Minilya Bridge.
Day 11. Minilya Bridge to Karratha.
Day 12. Karratha area.
Day 13. Karratha to Port Hedland.
Day 14. Depart Port Hedland

DETAILED ITINERARY:
B-breakfast, L-lunch and D-dinner.

Day 1. Arrive Port Hedland.
Most flights arrive at Port Hedland in the afternoon. For those who are keen, there should be time for a bit of birding around town before we settle into our accommodation for more familiar species like Galah, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Torresian Crow, Zebra Finch, Brahminy Kite and Rainbow Bee-eater. We will have our welcome dinner tonight where we will discuss the plan for the rest of the tour.
Accommodation:Port Hedland (en suite cabins). Meals included:D.

Day 2. Port Hedland area.
Before breakfast wewill check out the town oval and racecourse at dawn, with over-wintering Little Curlewand Oriental Plover possible. At Six Mile Creek wewill look for shorebirds out on the mudflats and mangrove specialties such as Canary White-eye, White-breasted Whistler & Dusky Gerygone. In the afternoon we will check out the De Grey River area and nearby forest for woodland birds. After dinner we will spotlight for owls, mammals and reptiles near our accommodation.
Accommodation:Port Hedland (ensuite cabins) as for last night.Meals included:B, L, D.

Day 3. Port Hedland to Tom Pricevia Munjina.
We will leave Pt Hedland and head inland this morning. Along the way we will check any ephemeral pools, or pools in creeks to look for Painted Finch, Spinifex Pigeon, Red-browed Pardalote, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Bar-shouldered Dove, Crested Bellbird and nomadic species such as Budgerigar, Cockatiel, and Pied & Black Honeyeaters, etc. There is an area of mulga north of Munjina. Lunch at Munjina. Check along Hamersley Road (near Hamersley Gorge) for Grey Honeyeater, Spinifexbird, Rufous-crowned Emuwren, Striated (Pilbara) Grasswren.
Accommodation: Tom Price(ensuite rooms).Mealsincluded:B, L, D

Day 4. Tom Price area.
The morning we will be exploring the Mt Nameless area, where a very early start is required to find the target –Striated(Pilbara) Grasswren in the extensive stands of Spinifex of this area. Also here are Spinifexbird, Rufous-crowned Emuwren, Black-chinned (Golden-backed) Honeyeater, Grey-headed Honeyeater, Grey-fronted Honeyeater, Western Bowerbird, Spinifex Pigeon, Australian Ringneck (a much smaller form in the Pilbara) and Little Woodswallow plus others such as Brown Quail, Common Bronzewing, Hooded Robin, Purple-backed Fairywren and Western Gerygone. We will also visit Kings Lake to look for a variety of species including Star Finch, Mistletoebird, Crimson Chatand Black-tailed Native-henand if possible, check the Tom Price Water TreatmentPlant if possible. In the afternoon we have the option to visit Hamersley Gorge,which is mostly sightseeing, but we would try for all the key targets, plus some woodland along a couple of creek-lines.  Spotlight in the evening (or one of the evenings) for Spotted Nightjarand Barking Owl.
Accommodation: Tom Price (ensuite rooms) as for last night. Mealsincluded:B, L, D.

Day 5.Karijini National Park-Tom Price.
We will spend a full day today doing the loop around the majority of the gorges in Karajini NP. This area provides some habitat for birds such as Chiming Wedgebill, Black-chinned Honeyeater, Black-tailed Treecreeper, White-winged Fairywren and Redthroat plus a few of our major targets.This will also provide some amazing sight-seeing opportunities.
Accommodation:Tom Price (ensuite rooms) as for last night.  Meals included:B, L, D.

Day 6. Tom Price to Exmouth.
This is a travel day as we will have a long drive, but there will be opportunities for birding along the way. Raptors are always possible,and we will keep an eye out for species like Spotted Harrier, Australian Hobby, Square-tailed Kite, Black-breasted Buzzard and the exceedingly scarce Grey Falcon.Other species we have a good chance of seeing today include Flock Bronzewing, Cockatiel and Budgerigar. In the Exmouth area and on the Cape Range we will look for Rufous Fieldwren, Western Bowerbird (Cape Range subspecies) and Grey-headed Honeyeater and also try for Rufous-crowned Emu-wren. Mammal-wise, we should also have good views of Black-footed Rock Wallaby, plus the very reddish-looking western morph of Euro. Red Kangaroo are also in the area. Perentie (Varanus giganteus) would be the main reptile target but quite a few other reptile species are possible here. The afternoon will be spent closer to Exmouth at the harbour, sewage ponds and golf course. After dinner there will be another opportunity to take a night drive in search of nocturnal critters.
Accommodation:Exmouth (en suite rooms).  Meals included:B, L, D

Day 7. Exmouth to Denham.
Today is another travel day but again there will be opportunities for birding along the way. We will stop in at Coral Bay, New Beach and Pt Quobbafor terns or shearwaters and maybe Flock Bronzewing or Orange Chat. Raptors are always possible, and we will keep an eye out for species like Spotted Harrier, Australian Hobby, Square-tailed Kite, Black-breasted Buzzard, with further chances for Grey Falcon.
Accommodation:Denham / Monkey Mia (en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 8. Shark Bay area. Denham / Monkey Mia.
Today wewill explore the fascinating Shark Bay region, including the coastal town of Denham, Peron Peninsula and the famous Monkey Mia. Here we will have a great chance of seeing the range-restricted Western Grasswren, as well as getting up close and personal with inshore Bottlenose Dolphins, and an opportunity to observe the ancient fossilized stromatolites at Hamelin Pool near Hamelin Station. Other birds in the coastal shrublands and shoreline here include Emu, Rufous Fieldwren, Southern Scrub-robin, White-browed Babbler, Crested Bellbird, Pacific Gull, Eastern Reef Egret, Fairy Tern and Eastern Curlew. Malleefowl has been re-introduced into the area as well. We will join a cruise from Monkey Mia to look for Dugong.
Accommodation: Denham / Monkey Mia(en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 9. Shark Bay to Carnarvon.
We will start the day with some more birding around the Peron Peninsula, and we may also be able to observe Loggerhead and Green Turtles, and maybe a Dugong from Eagle Bluff. We will then head towards Carnarvon.
Accommodation:Carnarvon(en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 10. Carnarvon to Minilya Bridge.
We will bird around the Carnarvon area this morning, including the mangroves along the coast for mangrove specialties like Dusky Gerygone, White-breasted Whistler and Mangrove Grey Fantail. Nearby wetlands in town yield birds like Musk Duck, Red-kneed Dotterel, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Hoary-headed Grebe. We will also look for woodland birds east of town with the possibility of Bourke’s Parrot, Black-tailed Treecreeper or Spinifex Pigeon.
Accommodation: Minilya Bridge (roadhouse cabins-clean but basic. All rooms are air conditioned include a fridge, tea/coffee making facilities, and TV. Shared bathroom facilities). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 11. Minilya Bridge to Karratha.
Again we will have several opportunities to bird and stretch our legs along the way. Raptors and Flock Bronzewing are possible. We will have lunch at Nanutarra Roadhouseand in the late afternoon wewill stop at the Burrup Peninsula to look for Rothschild’s Rock Wallaby, Spotted Nightjar and hopefully Finlayson’s Cave Bat emerging at dusk.
Accommodation:Karratha(en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D

Day 12. Karratha area.
Today we will explore the Karratha and Roebourne areas, beginning with a visit to the mangroves around the coastline. Birds include some of the mangrove specialtieslike Mangrove Golden Whistler, White-breasted Whistler and Dusky Gerygone. We can see if there any waterbirds or shorebirds at the sewage works in town and check out the area again tonight for nocturnal birds and mammals. Accommodation:Karratha (en suite rooms)as for last night. Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 13. Karratha to Port Hedland.
Today we willvisit the Point Samson & Cossack areas eastof Roebourne for mangrove species, raptorsand reptiles. There should be several river crossings with water that can be very good for birds. Species we will search for today include Red-browed Pardalote, Painted Finch, Spinifex Pigeon, Star Finch, maybe Grey-headed Honeyeater and even Pictorella Mannikin. We will then continue to Port Hedland, arriving late afternoon.
Accommodation:Port Hedland(en suite rooms). Meals included: B, L, D.

Day 14. Depart Port Hedland.
After some final birding around town this morning the tour will end, and we will make our connecting flights back to Perth and then home.
Accommodation:none. Meals included: B.

Group size:3 people with one specialist Inala driver guide or 6 people with 2 driver/guides.

Estimated TBC Tour Price:$9,990 per person sharing for a minimum group size of 3 people Single supplement: $1,200

Price includes: 13 nights’ accommodation, specialist guide and transport, meals, entrance fees and activities as mentioned in the itinerary.

Price does not include: Airfares, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, snacks, internet, laundry,or other items of a personal nature. 

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