All posts tagged: Yanchep NP

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo Calypthorhynchus latirostris Yanchep National Park Western Australia

Rain Birds – Carnaby’s Cockatoo

The short-billed black or Carnaby’s cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) is one of Western Australia’s most fascinating birds. In summertime they reside in coastal areas while feeding on the seeds of Banksia, Hakea, and eucalypts – and with ample water and roosting sites Yanchep National Park is a favourite hangout and excellent place to spot them. Last Sunday we weren’t short of luck with flocks of up to a hundred individuals socialising in the tall Tuart trees. Here we witnessed a noisy spectacle of feeding, crooning and preening – the meticulous grooming ritual in which pairs strengthen their bond. Preening is the earliest sign of the approaching breeding season when the female will lead her partner back to the place where she was born, deep in the arid inland of WA’s Wheatbelt region. The arrival of the first storms and winter rains will be the starting sign of this journey, and the early settlers therefore called them ‘rain birds’, referring to the change of weather and seasons when the cockatoos flew over. However, the future of the Carnaby’s cockatoo …

Koala Yanchep NP

Koala

If there is one animal that has become a beloved Australian icon it is the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Widely perceived as cute and cuddly this arboreal marsupial feeds a few hours a day on Eucalyptus leaves. As this diet hardly contains any nutrients and calories koalas spend most of the time sleeping in a tree, and as nineteenth century British naturalist John Gould observed ‘it is so slothful that it is very difficult to arouse and make it quit its resting place’. Large numbers of koalas have been hunted for its fur and skins in the late 19th and 20th century. Regarding the millions of skins exported Koalas once were much more abundant than they are today. However, clearing, fragmentation and degradation of natural habitat, infections with Chlamydia, bush fires and drought are the main causes of population declines or collapses since the ban on the fur trade. The natural range of Koalas currently stretches from the north-east Queensland to the south-east corner of South Australia, a distribution thought to be similar to the one …

Flowering Banksia menziesii Yanchep NP

Colours of winter # 3 – Mungyt

The splendid firewood Banksia (Banksia menziesii) is a rather gnarly tree of the Proteaceae family that grows on the sandy coastal plains of  Western Australia’s mid and central west regions. It flowers in autumn and winter after a lengthy process in which the inflorescence changes from a bare brown cone to a spectacle of more than thousand brightly coloured flowers.      

Western Grey Kangaroo Yanchep NP

Western Grey Kangaroo

The western grey kangaroo (Macropus filiginosus) is one of four large kangaroos and wallaroos that occur in Western Australia. They are recognisable by the white marks on the forehead as well as their finely haired muzzle. Western grey kangaroos are grazers that feed on grasses and herbs, and like ruminants have micro-organisms breaking down fibrous plant material by fermentation. Most animals move out into the open at dusk to feed from late afternoon till early morning. With plentiful succulent green grass available close encounters such as in Yanchep National Park are pretty easy. Note the little Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) hopping around the roo in order to catch any creatures disturbed by their grazing.