The Beach Stone-curlew Esacus magnirostris is the largest shorebird that we find along the coast around Broome. It is not common and despite their rather bold plumage they are heavily disguised amongst the rocks and even on the mud. We have heard strange banging noises in the distance sometimes and then come across a bird that is trying to crack a shell open for a meal. Other times you just hear this horrendous shriek and it has seen you and it does not want you in it’s territory. They do sometimes fly, but often they just march off screeching away. They are generally nocturnal, so no doubt get overlooked, but they also need to depend on the tide and we have seen both single and paired birds on several occasions.

They were previously known as Beach Thick-knees, which was a good name!

One of the bonuses about being out later in the day, as the tide goes out, is you may just come across these birds! Of course another bonus is that if there have been fires in the bush then you will also have a brilliant sunset……….

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!