Over recent weeks we have been out to check on the local ephemeral lakes. These lakes vary from year to year depending on how wet our “wet season” is and also what happens in the “dry season”. It really has been a bad year for the lakes and the birdlife that depend on them, but with so much water in other parts of Australia they will have relocated. When we have had a good wet season we have had terns breeding along the main highway south from Broome and even Comb-crested Jacana have inhabited the lakes. There had been rain in the area that we looked, but the lakes were still almost all dry and although we saw 55 species of birds there were no waterbirds. We found one pair of Brolga and Masked Lapwings in a damp area where there had been a lake.

Brolga Grus rubicunda
Australasian Pipits make the most of fence lines around the country! The pale lumps in the background are termite mounds, of which there are plenty!

Australasian Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae
The season is really changing at the moment and we are currently watching “lows” develop off the coast. We got trapped in a storm on the beach and sought shelter in a cave where we were still able to observe the shorebirds. It was not until it got really torrential that they stopped feeding. It was an incoming tide and they did not want to miss their opportunity. The storm was incredible to watch as it approached and the chill in the air was pure luxury after the hot and humid weather that we are experiencing at the moment. The lightning shows will soon be upon us and there’s nothing better than sitting outside in the evening watch the sky light up.

We have had a sudden invasion of locusts and flying ants. The ants are a good indication that rain is on its way and the noise the frogs are making is another good indication. We are pleased that we have a garden full of native plants and trees for the birds. Our neighbour has palm trees and the locusts have loved the free feed. It was interesting that when the locusts were at their peak we had very few birds in our garden, but I suspect that the size of a spur-throated locusts is fairly threatening to a Double-barred Finch.

In the last few days we have seen a lot of lizards out and about ……this male Gilbert’s Dragon Amphibolurus gilberti was having a lazy afternoon!

Gilbert’s Dragon Amphibolurus gilberti
The Frilled Lizards Chlamydosaurus kingii near the road are generally very cooperative for photos, so here’s a nice shot for you!

Frilled Lizard Chlamydosaurus kingii

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!