Where to find amazing birds and animals in Margaret RIver
Right now I’m working by the window at Mum and Dad’s place, afternoon sunlight is streaming in. It’s from this cosy spot that I just heard half a dozen white tailed black cockatoos screeching as they flew overhead.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this – Margaret River – is my office. That I can jump up, grab my camera and take a few photos of the cockatoos getting into mum’s garden. They love the proteas and leucospermum we planted a few years ago.
There’s nothing better than seeing these incredible animals and beautiful birds, and I get to share the experience with guests!
So here’s a few of the jaw-dropping birds and animals you can see while visiting Margaret River, and when and where to find them.
The Splendid Fairy Wren is a brightly coloured small bird, and the males are a dazzling blue. They’re quite popular in the Cape to Cape region, you just have to listen out for their ‘kissing’ sound, and stay quiet, as they’re flighty.
The male birds have bright blue plumage in spring and summer to attract a mate, then they revert to a dull grey-brown in autumn and winter. The females are grey with a bright blue tail.
We often see them at the wineries with birdbaths, and anywhere with native Australian plants. They love bottlebrush bushes and good scrub cover.
You’ll probably see blue wrens on the Eat Drink Explore Tour: we often see them at Hay Shed Hill, Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Fermoy Estate and Cowaramup Brewery.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf0Njnag9rZ/?taken-by=mcleodtours – Lincoln can you add this video?
These gentle giants can weigh up to 300kg and have a 1.5 metre wing span, and they’ll happily glide up and over your toes if you wade into the water at Hamelin Bay Beach.
The stingrays swim around in small groups, hoping to find some fish scraps. They’re friendly, curious and docile.
We visit Hamelin Bay on Day 3 of our Perth to Margaret River 3 Day Escape, on the same day as our cave and lighthouse visit. We see them most days in spring and summer, and every few days in winter.
We often have the privilege of orchestrating international guests first ever kangaroo sighting, and what a thrill that is!
There’s no shortage of beautiful kangaroos in the region, and you might see them lolling about vineyards, especially in summer when they’re tempted by the sweet grapes! They’re usually on the northern side of Carters Road, just north of Margaret River and west of Burnside Road – that’s a fairly reliable spot to see ‘roos.
If you’re keen to see a kangaroo I’ll usually take you to our family farm, which is near the corner of Caves Road and Wallcliffe Road. The kangaroos are wild, so it’s an authentic experience, and we’ll often see mothers and their joeys peering out of the pouch.
Dad runs a Sunset Kangaroo Safari in the warmer months, and he’ll take you around the farm on his converted 1962 Bedford Truck. There’s home made cake and billy tea by the creek – authentically Aussie! Read more about this experience at our recent blog – Family-friendly fun on the Sunset Kangaroo Safari.
The Whale watching season in Margaret River is one of the longest in the world; it runs from mid May in Augusta to mid December in Geographe Bay, with whale watching charters based in Dunsborough and Busselton.
I highly recommend jumping on board a whale watching boat – we’re fond of Naturaliste Charters, but there’s about four companies to choose from, some with Mandarin-speaking guides. Last winter I wrote a blog detailing why we recommend Naturaliste Charters, a bit about the whale migration and best of all some land-based whale watching lookouts. Read that blog ‘Whale Watching in Margaret River’ here.
Day 3 of the Perth to Margaret River 3 Day Escape tour we take a tour of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse which stands 57 metres above sea level, giving us an excellent view of any whales passing by.
Back to my beloved cockatoos. Unfortunately, the red tailed black cockatoos are becoming rarer – I’ve not seen one in months, although they’re definitely still around. The Baudin Cockatoos (white tailed) are prevalent on the farm, as they rest in the red gum trees and fly across the valley to Wallcliffe Road making a huge racket and spilling honky nuts everywhere.
They’re beautiful creatures and live for around 25 to 50 years. We don’t see them on tour often, it’s really a case of being in the right place at the right time. But occasionally, like right now, they’ll surprise you with their screech, and it’ll make your day!
More amazing Margaret River Wildlife
I combine my love of local wildlife and photography over at our Instagram account. Look us up – @mcleodtours is our Instagram handle, as I often post photos of kookaburras, robin red breasts, whales and more. Enjoy!