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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Remoted showers shouldn’t preserve you at residence! – 10,000 Birds

At this time of yr in Broome we frequently encounter remoted showers and they are often torrential, however they could solely be over a small space. It is likely to be raining at residence, however go one kilometre away and it’s dry or vice versa. The Bureau of Meteorology rain gauge in Broome is on the airport and the readings from the gauge will be fairly totally different to a different rain gauge just a few kilometres away. Final Saturday morning it was pouring with rain at residence, however we determined to danger going for a seaside stroll about ten kilometres up the coast in the direction of Willie Creek south aspect. It seemed like a typical remoted bathe!

We drove by torrential rain to get to the parking space on the cliff-tops and it was dry after we obtained there. The header picture exhibits the rain over Broome, which landed in our rain gauge, however not the rain gauge on the airport! It did seem like we is likely to be risking getting moist, so I put a big umbrella in my backpack and off we went north. The tide had simply turned and the ocean was tough, so there have been a whole lot of creatures washed up. We quickly encountered a number of creatures that reminded us that you shouldn’t dip your toes within the Indian Ocean right now of yr. Irukandji jellyfish are a risk, however you might be unlikely to see these resulting from their dimension. The creatures that we noticed have been clearly seen on the sand.

The primary blue-bottle jellyfish didn’t have seen tentacles, however then we noticed one with a really spectacular lengthy tentacle over 30cm lengthy.

Blue-bottle jellyfish

There have been varied different jellyfish that have been the scale of dinner plates and different smaller “jellies” which will have been egg sacs slightly than jellyfish.


Doable egg sac

The prettiest creatures washed up on the seaside have been the Porpita porpita, that are button sized creatures with a brilliant color and tentacles. Most of the turquoise tentacles have been washed up alongside the excessive tide line.

Porpita porpita

We got here throughout a sea snake in a knot, which appeared to not be capable to get again to the ocean throughout a quickly falling tide. Grant rigorously used a stick and it unknotted itself and when he positioned it again within the ocean it swam off strongly. We had not encountered a sea snake in a knot earlier than and in line with this text the ocean snakes must knot themselves ceaselessly to eliminate parasites and to shed their skins each couple of weeks. The ocean snake was roughly 60cm lengthy as soon as it was straight once more.

Sea snake in a knot

You may inform that the ocean had been tough just lately by different gadgets washed up like sea sponges.

Sea sponge

There have been no finish of mud whelks on the transfer because the tide receded and though they’re supposedly edible we don’t eat them! They have been largely 10cm lengthy.

Mud whelks

The tide was receding quick and that gave us alternative to stroll north and observe the resident and migratory birds. You won’t consider an Australian Pipit as being a chook that you’d encounter on the seaside, however it’s common on this part of seaside. They may conceal within the rocks and get protected against rain or the warmth of the day, however we continued north with our umbrella!

Australian Pipit watching an remoted bathe from the highest of a rock

We might simply stroll north with out disturbing the birds. There have been 30 Sooty Oystercatchers and 30 Pied Oystercatchers in two separate flocks. The 2 species of Oystercatcher are usually not breeding right now of yr and infrequently congregate collectively. There’s a loads of meals as soon as the reef is uncovered when the tide falls they usually usually simply wander about on the seaside till they’ll return to feed. The Oystercatchers are inclined to choose to stroll slightly than fly and can simply stroll forward of you as you wander up the seaside.

Pied Oystercatchers

Sooty Oystercatchers wandering up the seaside

Because of the reef being underwater a lot of the shorebirds have been roosting and we might stroll round them, so they might proceed to calm down. The Crested Terns are essentially the most nervous and take flight on some events, however usually you possibly can stroll by on the excessive tide line and depart the shorebirds roosting.

Shorebirds roosting ready for the tide to drop

The shorebirds current have been Sanderling, Gray Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Nice Knot, Higher Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Gray-tailed Tattler, Bar-tailed Godwit, Purple-necked Stint, Widespread Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Purple-capped Plover. There have been additionally Brown Booby feeding at sea and Little Terns, Crested Terns, Lesser Crested Terns, Widespread Terns, Gull-billed Terns and Silver Gulls. The gray morph and white morph of Japanese Reef Egret moved onto the sandstone cliffs till the tide dropped sufficient to return to the reef to feed.

Small flock of shorebirds

We did stroll all the way in which to the south aspect of Willie Creek and we watched the encircling remoted showers, however I carried that enormous umbrella for 3 hours and didn’t want it. It was good insurance coverage to ensure it didn’t rain! Over the numerous years that we have now lived within the north of Australia we have now learnt to not be deterred by remoted showers. Nevertheless, had their been lightning concerned we might not have been out exposing ourselves to that danger!

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