Last week I mentioned the steady increase of Plumed Whistling-Ducks to the Broome Poo Ponds and that they now number in the thousands. As the land starts to dry out the Plumed Whistling-Ducks head for remaining fresh water around Broome and the ephemeral lakes are good locations for them to move to, but the Poo Ponds are also ideal. Although the Poo Ponds are right in town they are also close to the Broome Golf Course and the grass at the Golf Course is watered via the recycled water from the Poo Ponds. The Plumed Whistling-Ducks spend most of the day lining the edges of the ponds and then move onto the grass to feed later in the day. It is hard to do justice to the huge number of Plumed Whistling-Ducks at the ponds at the moment, but to say it is hard to find other duck species among them would be an understatement! The header photo shows some of the thousands of Plumed Whistling-Ducks from the far side of the ponds looking back towards the Barndarlmarda Hut. The numbers steadily increase all around the ponds and every wall and bank is covered in Plumed Whistling-Ducks now.

Plumed Whistling-Ducks line the banks

Plumed Whistling-Ducks stand close together the length of the walls

Continuing around to stand in the shade at the bird watching hut you soon realise the enormity of the thousands of Plumed Whistling-Ducks and they jostle for what little shade there is. They are the predominant species by far and although there are a few Black-winged Stilts and Black-fronted Dotterels present they are quite hard to find among all of the ducks!

Plumed Whistling-Ducks

If you would like to add Plumed Whistling-Ducks to your bird list then you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Broome Poo Ponds! If you are wondering what sound they make-well, they whistle!

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!