Dryandra State Forest Birding Sites

Key Species : Malleefowl (chance), Stubble Quail (chance), Square-tailed Kite (spring / summer chance), Collared Sparrowhawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Painted Button-quail, Bush Stone-curlew (good chance), Brush Bronzewing, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Western Rosella (chance), Red-capped Parrot (good chance), Elegant Parrot, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Southern Boobook, Masked Owl (chance), Tawny Frogmouth, Australian Owlet-nightjar (fair chance), Rufous Treecreeper, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Western Thornbill, Little Wattlebird, White-eared Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Western Spinebill, Jacky Winter, Red-capped Robin, Hooded Robin (chance), Western Yellow Robin (good chance), White-browed Babbler, Varied Sittella, Crested Shrike-tit (chance), Dusky Woodswallow. Mammals : Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) (fair chance), Red-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale calura) (chance), Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), Yellow-footed Antechinus (Mardo) (Antechinus flavipes) (small chance), Fat-tailed Dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata) (small chance), Western Barred Bandicoot (Marl) (Perameles bougainville), Bilby (Macrotis lagotis), Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), Western Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus concinnus) (small chance), Honey Possum (Noolbenger) (Tarsipes rostratus) (small chance), Burrowing Bettong (Boodie) (Bettongia lesueur), Brush-tailed Bettong (Woylie) (Bettongia penicillata), Rufous Hare Wallaby (Mala) (Lagorchestes hirsutus), Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii) (chance), Western Brush Wallaby (Macropus irma), Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus), Banded Hare Wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus), Fox (Vulpes vulpes), European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Reptiles : Broad-banded Sandswimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii), Carpet Python (Morelia spilota imbricata) (fair chance).

The Dryandra State Forest is approximately 170km south east of Perth. From Perth travel south along Albany Highway to North Bannister, turn east and pass through Wandering and over Pumphrey's Bridge.  Narrogin is 26km south of Dryandra.  Occasionally I have visited Dryandra for the day from Perth but it is a two hour trip each way.  I recommend staying for one or two nights in the cottages at the Lions Dryandra Woodlands Village (08 9884 5231), or you can camp on the western edge near the Congelin Dam or stay at Narrogin.

If you want to experience more of Dryandra then I recommend a tour with Simon Nevill of Falcon Tours especially in spring for the wildflowers and orchids.  He will increase your chances of seeing species such as Malleefowl, Numbat, etc and his knowledge of the wildflowers is excellent.

Dryandra is dominated by wandoo and powderbark wandoo woodland plus areas of mallet plantations.  There are several areas of heath (dryandra and some mallee), jam tree wattle and some patches of casuarina.  There are three dams, a paddock, adjoining farmland and a few arboretums.  They all contribute to giving Dryandra a diverse bird list.  Honeyeaters in particular are very well represented with 13 species.

There is a concentrated effort by CALM to eradicate foxes which has contributed to Dryandra being the best site in the south west to look for mammals.  The highlights are the Numbat, Short-beaked Echidna and the Woylie.  It is a stronghold for the Red-tailed Phascogale but this is a very hard mammal to find without trapping.  CALM has built an area surrounded by an electric fence where it is reintroducing mammals that formerly occurred in the south west.  They have released some Bilbies along Gura Road.

Stop at the caretaker cottage and collect the Dryandra Woodland Visitor Information brochure, and the Dryandra Woodland Trail Guide brochure published by CALM.


1. Lions Dryandra Woodlands Village

Cottages (Caretaker S32 47 03" E116 58 13") - The area around the cottages is a good place at night to spotlight for Bush Stone-curlew, Woylie, Common Brushtail Possum, Southern Boobook, etc.  I once saw an Australian Owlet-nightjar along the line of pine trees, and I once heard a Masked Owl fly along the paddock parallel to the pine trees towards the Old Mill Dam.  A strong torch is sufficient.  The cottages are the best place to see Singing Honeyeater at Dryandra.

Tennis Court (S32 46 48" E116 58 15") - The small patch of wandoo across the road is the site where I have seen Numbat most often.  Check it each time that you drive past.  I have seen Southern Boobook here when spotlighting.  The Kawana Road Walk (with Malleefowl markers) starts near the tennis courts.  It is 8km return, but you can do part of it.  I haven't done this walk, but it passes through a number of  habitats and should be worth it.

Firebreak - I recommend walking along the edge of the tree line across the road at the back of the cottages.  Near the southern end across the road from the caretaker cottage I have seen Bush Stone-curlew and Numbat.

Paddock - I usually drive around the paddock spotlighting for Southern Boobook, Tawny Frogmouth, Bush Stone-curlew, Woylie, Western Brush Wallaby and Common Brushtail Possum.  In daytime, look for Red-capped Robin and Scarlet Robin on the fence especially at the southern end.  The small area of planted trees at the southern end can be worth looking for Jacky Winter, and this is sometimes where the Bush Stone-curlews roost during the day.


2. Kawana Road

The following are some locations along Kawana Road which is the road at the back of all the cottages.  All distances are from the Lions Dryandra Woodlands Village sign at the Y junction (0.0km S32 46 44" E116 58 11") near the tennis courts.  Kawana Road leads back to the Wandering - Narrogin Road, crosses over and does a loop up to the Lol Grey Lookout.  It reaches a dead end shortly after the lookout to quarantine an area where dieback has been recorded.

Kawana Road Dam (0.5km S32 46 30" E116 58 18") - This is a fairly reliable site for Blue-breasted Fairy-wren in the low bushes around the dam.  The late afternoon is a good time to look for bronzewings coming to drink.  The Kawana Road Walk passes by the southern side.

Casuarina Woodland (2.1km S32 46 04" E116 58 52") - This is an area with a lot of casuarinas.  Listen for White-browed Babblers, but they seem to be getting harder to find recently at Dryandra.  Red-tailed Phascogale occurs in the casuarina thickets.

Wandering - Narrogin Road (3.4km S32 46 00" E116 59 46") - I have seen Numbat on this corner several times, and a Short-beaked Echidna crossed Kawana Road in March 1999.  Rufous Treecreeper is fairly common. Kawana Road continues across the road.

Kawana Road Banding Site (4.3km S32 45 54" E117 00 16") - This is a small area of heath with banksia, dryandra and mallee that is used as a banding site.  There is always something flowering which ensures that there is a good variety of honeyeaters.  Walk along the road looking for Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Western Spinebill, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Golden Whistler, Inland Thornbill, Little Wattlebird, etc.  Also walk along the western edge of the heath on the north side of the road.  Fan-tailed Cuckoo and Short-beaked Echidna have been seen here in winter.  You can also walk back about 50 metres to the firebreak.  Keep an eye on the sky for Wedge-tailed Eagle and possible Square-tailed Kite.

Kawana Road Heath (4.7km S32 45 51" E117 00 30") - This is a much larger area of heath with more dryandra and mallee.  This site has similar species to the previous site.

Lol Grey Lookout (5.9km S32 45 55" E117 01 02") - This is nearly always a good birding site and is worth a stop for 20 minutes or a longer exploration along the Lol Grey Loop (3.2km return) or the Lol Grey Trail (6.3km to the village).  This is one of the best sites at Dryandra for Western Yellow Robin, but it is not always easy to find.  It seems to roam around the top of the hill, and it is sometimes across the road.  You should also find Rufous Treecreeper, Western Spinebill, Golden Whistler and possibly Western Thornbill.


3. Dryandra Road / Tomingley Road to Village

From the end of Kawana Road, turn right on the Wandering - Narrogin Road and head right towards Wandering for 1.8km to Dryandra Road on the left.

Painted Button-quail Site (0.2km S32 46 48" E116 59 59") - Drive 200 metres along Dryandra Road until you get to a thicket of casuarina trees on your right.  This used to be a very reliable site for Painted Button-quail but there haven't even been platelets on my last few visits.  I walk anti clockwise around the casuarinas and then check the low bushes across the road back towards the Wandering-Narrogin Road.  i.e. Walk about 80 metres along the edge of the casuarinas until you find an open area on the left through the casuarinas, then walk about 200 metres up this gap to the end, then walk about 100 metres back to the road, cross the road and walk 200 metres through the low bushes back to the car.  Look for the round platelets on the ground for evidence of the presence of Painted Button-quails.  I saw two juvenile Collared Sparrowhawks near the casuarinas in January 1998.  If you go 200 to 300 metres from the road opposite the casuarinas I have seen White-browed Babbler, Restless Flycatcher, Golden Whistler, etc.

Tomingley Road (1.0km S32 47 08" E116 59 42") - Stop where you see or hear the birds.  Spring is the best time of the year.  Walk through the woodland looking for Elegant Parrot, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, possible Western Yellow Robin and a chance of Crested Shrike-tit.  I have found the area up to the second set of white posts to be quite good.

Banding Site - Continue along Tomingley Road to the road junction with Colac Road at Giles Park (1.6km S32 47 19" E116 59 23") and turn right.  After 800 metres there is a track on the left.  Follow this for 400 metres to an area of heath on the left.  Bird in this heath for 800 metres along the road to a kink in the road (S32 47 39" E116 58 55").  Look for White-cheeked Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, etc.  I have seen platelets of Painted Button-quail in the woodland near the kink.

To get to the Lions Dryandra Woodlands Village, return to Tomingley Road and follow it to the T junction and turn left.


4. Tomingley Road

The following are locations along Tomingley Road  which heads west from the village.  All distances are from the T Junction with Kawana Road at the settlement (0.0km S32 47 10" E116 58 19").  Tomingley Road continues for 9.4km to the York-Williams Road that heads south to the old Congelin settlement and north to Pumphreys Bridge.

Old Mill Dam (0.6km S32 47 12" E116 57 55") - This is an excellent site to find a good range of species.  You can spend 30 minutes to 2 hours walking around this area.  It is an easy walk if you are staying in the cottages or the best place to have lunch if you are visiting Dryandra.  Check the dam for ducks or White-faced Heron.  From the dam walk about 200 metres diagonally across to the right up the slope to the bushes to look for Blue-breasted Fairy-wren.  Look for Jacky Winter on the way.  Make your way away from the dam along the slope looking for Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Rufous Treecreeper, Dusky Woodswallow, Western Thornbill, Common Bronzewing, Restless Flycatcher, White-browed Babbler and possible Painted Button-quail, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Woylie. Elegant Parrot, Purple-crowned Lorikeet and Rainbow Bee-eater can be found in spring and summer.  If there is any stubble in the far paddock then check for Stubble Quail.  Walk east along the track and then back through the thicker scrub in the south east corner of the block.  This is a good area for thornbills, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Splendid Fairy-wren and White-browed Scrubwren.  I have seen an Australian Owlet-nightjar at the entrance to its hollow, and Bush Stone-curlew has roosted in this area.  Finally make your way back to the dam.  I have seen a Crested Shrike-tit in the taller wandoos in this area, and a Numbat.  Check around the dam for White-naped Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater and Sacred Kingfisher in summer.

Weirah Road  - This road leads 1.5km to a fire tower.  The turnoff is 50 metres before the Arboretum.  There is a good variety of habitats along this road giving good chances of seeing a variety of birds including honeyeaters, parrots, Painted Button-quail, Square-tailed Kite and Crested Shrike-tit.

Arboretum (2.7km S32 47 22" E116 56 42") - The Arboretum is a plantation of a variety of eucalypt trees.  This is a good site to look for Scarlet Robin, Red-capped Robin, Western Yellow Robin and Jacky WinterCrested Shrike-tit, Painted Button-quail and Numbat have been seen here.  I usually combine this area with a walk at the start of the Ochre Trail in one to two hours early in the morning.

Ochre Trail (3.0km S32 47 24" E116 56 32") - Park in the small parking area on the left at the start of the trail.  This area is well worth a 30 minutes to one hour search for Western Yellow Robin, Painted Button-quail, Rufous Treecreeper, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren and possibly Elegant Parrot, Jacky Winter and Crested Shrike-tit.  Walk along the trail for about 100 to 200 metres.  I have always found Western Yellow Robin in this area, Elegant Parrot a few times and the platelets made by Painted Button-quail can usually be found here.  Jacky Winter can often be found in the rocky breakaway left of the trail.  From the trail I usually work my way parallel to the road just in sight of the car.  There is a small dense area which usually has Blue-breasted Fairy-wren and sometimes Western Thornbill.  Further along you reach a gentle slope where Crested Shrike-tit has been reported.  I haven't done it because I have been short of time, but it has been recommended to do the full return walk.  A Crested Bellbird has been reported in this area.  Another place to look for Painted Button-quail is across the road from the car, and walking back to the Arboretum.

Numbat (6.8km S32 47 32" E116 56 17") - This is open wandoo woodland.  I have seen a Numbat here on the left (south) side of the road, and Painted Button-quail also.

Tomingley Road / Mangart Road / Norn Road corner (8.3km S32 48 13" E116 53 49")

York - Williams Road (9.4km S32 48 10" E116 53 06")


5. Baaluc Road / Norn Road / Patonga Road

These roads wind their way through the woodlands to the south west of the settlement.  They start at Tomingley Road at one end and eventually end near the Congelin Dam and camp ground close to the York-Williams Road.  The Tomingley Road corner (S32 47 13" E116 55 47") is signposted as Baaluc Road 4.5km west of the settlement and 1.3km past the Ochre Trail.  The following are locations along these roads with distances from the T junction at Tomingley Road.

Drive south along Baaluc Road.  I have seen Numbat cross this road.

Old Malleefowl Mound (1.1km S32 47 47" E116 55 48") - You pass an old mound close to the left (east) side of Baaluc Road about 30 metres before the marker post.

Baaluc Road / Norn Road corner (3.2km S32 48 54" E116 55 34") - Turn right (west) on to Norn Road.

Norn Road / Patonga Road corner (4.0km S32 48 46" E116 55 07") - Turn left (south) on to Patonga Road.

Patonga Road corner (5.1km S32 49 19" E116 55 00") - Turn right (west) and continue on Patonga Road.

Casuarina Tree (5.7km S32 49 19" E116 54 37") - Park near the casuarina tree growing very close on the right (north) side of the road.  Walk 50 to 100 metres into the mallet plantation on the south side of Patonga Road and then walk west parallel to Patonga Road for up to 1km.  Cross over Patonga Road and walk back to the car along the northern side.  This is a very good area for White-eared Honeyeater, and I have also seen Painted Button-quail, Tawny Frogmouth, Malleefowl, Numbat and a Dugite.  There is an old Malleefowl mound on the northern side.

Patonga Road / Mangart Road corner (7.5km S32 49 19" E116 53 28") - The paddock can be a good area for Stubble Quail when there is some stubble.  This corner is a good location to look for Red-capped Robin.  I have heard Barn Owl close to this corner.  Turn right (north) along Mangart Road for 800 metres, turn left (west) for 300 metres to Congelin Dam.

Congelin Dam (8.6km S32 49 01" E116 53 09") - Look for a possible duck, cormorant or White-faced Heron on the dam.  Walk around the woodland surrounding the dam to look for parrots, whistlers, robins, and thornbillsRufous Songlark is possible in spring, and a Brown Goshawk nested for many years across the road from the dam.

Congelin Camp Ground (Information S32 14 19" E116 53 49") - Continue past the dam for 200 metres, turn left (south) along the York - Williams Road for 400 metres and then left (east) for 400 metres to the Congellin Campground.  Look around the camp ground for robins, whistlers, thornbills, Varied Sittella, etc.


6. Mangart Road

Mangart Road ...


7. Marri Road

Marri Road ...


8. Koomal Road

Koomal Road ...


9. Gura Road

Gura Road winds its way through the area to the west and north west of the settlement.  It starts at Tomingley Road at one end and eventually ends at Kawana Road just north of the settlement.  The Tomingley Road corner (S32 47 12" E116 55 20") is now signposted as Marri Road.  It is 5.0km west of the settlement and 2.0km past the Ochre Trail.

The first section of Marri Road heads north from Tomingley Road for ?.?km to a T junction.  Drive slowly along this section looking for possible Numbat, Woylie, Painted Button-quail, etc.

Gura Road T Junction (S32 45 40" E116 55 36") - This is a site that I often visit as there is a good variety of species that can be found in a walk of about one hour.  There used to be a pair of Crested Bellbirds but they seem to have now died out.  One summer a pair of Black Honeyeaters were reported to be nesting.  I usually start by walking north from the corner into a thicket of trees that includes marri trees.  I often find White-eared Honeyeater feeding on the sap.  I then walk right (east) to the fence.  This is a feral proof electrified fence that surrounds an area where CALM is reintroducing Bilby, Western Barred Bandicoot (Marl), Burrowing Bettong (Boodie), Rufous Hare-wallaby (Mala) and Banded Hare-wallaby (Marnine).  CALM has some spotlighting tours.  I then bird the area walking east between the fence and the road looking for Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (which nest close to the ground in the dwarf dryandra), Western Thornbill, Jacky Winter, Hooded Robin, Painted Button-quail, Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Varied Sittella and Woylie.  This is also a study site for Red-tailed Phascogale.  You come to a track about 500 metres east of the T junction.  I then walk south back to the main road and then return to the car by birding in the area south of the road where there are thicker areas of heath.


Lions Dryandra Woodlands Village, PO Box 118, Cuballing 6311 (Phone : 08 9884 5231 Fax : 08 9884 5277)

CALM, Narrogin District Office, PO Box 100, Hough Street, Narrogin 6312 (08 9881 9200)

CALM, Wheatbelt Regional Headquarters, 7 Wald Street, Narrogin 6312 (08 9881 9222)

Dryandra Bird List (Microsoft Word 95) (15KB)

Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2003 Visits Last Modified 19th January 2003