As you all know, “brown” can be quite good on a bird and it comes in all colours and sizes! For those of you familiar with shorebirds there is a lot of “grey” out there, so I thought I should share some “brown” with you. One of the best places to find “brown” around Broome is on the highway as you head south as there is wide open country and plenty of fences for birds to perch on. Throw in a few hundred termite mounds and you have a great environment for birds. Even the narrow shade under a gate is a great place to seek shelter from the sun on a hot day. This land is currently very green from the recent rains and in very wet years it floods and becomes a great breeding area for terns. Due to the fact that a few of the Beatwriters are having a bit of fun this year and recording what they see during the year it gave us an extra excuse to go for a short drive to see what could be added to my list!

The first bird we came across was the Brown Songlark and this was my 143rd bird for 2012. It was happily sitting on the barbed wire and although it looks like it might be calling it was actually just hot….we all were! You can see the heat haze on all the termite hills.


Brown Songlark

The next bird we came across taking advantage of the fence was a Brown Falcon and it had been sitting on a termite mound as we approached and moved to the fence. There are plenty of lizards to keep it fed, but as the grass gets longer it will be harder for it to see them.

Brown Falcon

Now this fence supports a lot of birds and we had rows of Horsfield’s Bushlarks and they were by far the most common “fence” bird. You are going to see a lot of barbed wire in the post this week!

Horsfield’s Bushlark

As you are now familiar with the barbed wire around Broome I will move to the termite mounds! Here we discovered a beautiful bird. This is our largest bird of prey and has an incredible wingspan of 185-230cm. The Wedge-tailed Eagle has an unmistakenable wedge-shaped tail and is often seen on roadkill around Australia. This magnificent specimen was sitting on a termite mound and had it’s eye on a carcass.


 Wedge-tailed Eagle

So you have now seen a few of our “brown” birds! You are now familiar with our barbed wire in Australia and if you want to keep track on how we are all doing with our 2012 lists you can check us out on the right hand side of the web page-just scroll down a bit!

I don’t want you thinking we are back to blue skies every day-in fact on Friday we had to run rather fast due to an isolated storm on Cable Beach! This is the last photo I took on my phone before we started to run-always carry a plastic bag! Thankfully the rain is warm here in the tropics.

Isolated storm on Cable Beach

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!