On our recent walks along Cable Beach checking on the pairs of Pied Oystercatchers that are currently breeding we have often observed a Little Egret. There is only ever one Little Egret and it runs around in the shallows of the Indian Ocean. It appears to be successful at catching small fish. It is quite content running about in quite deep water up to its body. At this time of year the Indian Ocean is generally flat with very few waves. The water is clear and it would be easy for the Little Egret to see the fish that are present.

Little Egret

There are also Eastern Reef Egrets along our coast despite the fact that we are in Western Australia! They are both the white and grey morph. The Eastern Reef Egrets prefers to feed amongst the rocky areas of our coastline. The Little Egrets are a lot more active and run around in the shallows a lot more than the Eastern Reef Egrets.

The light has not always been the best when I have had my camera with me, but the activities of the Little Egret in the waves have been captured. As you can see below we do not have big waves at this time of year in Broome.

Little Egret in the Indian Ocean

We have enjoyed being able to observe the Little Egret along the coast recently. The coastline is not particularly busy with birds at the moment, because the migratory shorebirds are mostly breeding in the Northern hemisphere. There are more Red-capped Plovers than a few weeks ago. The ephemeral lakes are slowly drying out, so they are moving back to the coast.

You may notice our Little Egret does not have yellow feet. Our sub species is Egretta garzetta immaculata. However, we do occasionally observe the vagrant sub species Egretta garzetta garzetta and that does have yellow feet.

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!