An Agile Wallaby amongst the shorebirds
It is not uncommon to see Agile Wallabies Macropus agilis around the Broome area and everyone avoids driving on dusk or dawn as much as possible when they are most active. We often see their footprints on the beaches around Roebuck Bay and we have on occasion seen them close to the sea. The male Agile Wallaby weighs in at about 27 kg and the female at about 15 kg. They breed year round and the single young remain in the pouch for about 30 weeks and become independent after a year. They graze on a wide variety of plants and will eat fallen fruit. The other wallaby that is seen around this area is the Northern Nailtail Wallaby Onychogalea unguifera, which is a smaller species.
We spend quite a lot of time observing shorebirds in Broome and recently had a great experience where an Agile Wallaby hopped out of the bush at about 4pm and went straight into a flock of shorebirds to get to the sea. Although we were not very close we were able to get some photographs of the event. It appeared to be just going out into the sea to get wet and return to the bush. It was possibly trying to rid itself of ticks rather than cool off.
The shorebirds were mainly Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Great Knot, Red Knot and Grey tailed Tattler. We recorded a lot of individually marked birds that afternoon and had two flocks of Great Knot head off on their northward migration. It was rather nice to get a report about 10 days later of one of those Great Knot feeding on a mudflat in Taiwan!