Cable Beach is renowned for being a long sandy beach with a blue ocean and blue skies. It is also a great place for bird-watching and I have written many a post about the variety of birdlife along its length. Over the last couple of weeks the sandy beach has become invaded by tomato jellyfish. As the tomato jellyfish dry out they smell and it is not the smell of sun dried tomatoes, but more the smell of dead fish! As you can see in the header photo there have been quite a few!

The tomato jellyfish are large and the shorebirds can almost hide amongst them. There were less shorebirds on the beach the other day than I expected, but with the smell I can quite understand them looking for somewhere else to roost at high tide! Here are a few photos of the shorebirds that did stay despite the tomato jellyfish being present.

Greater Sand Plover

The Red-capped Plovers are resident in Broome, but do venture inland to the ephemeral lakes. Anywhere else would be less smelly!

Red-capped Plover

The only shorebird that seemed slightly interested in the tomato jellyfish was a lone Red-necked Stint. It had a pick at the base of the tomato jellyfish, but I am not convinced it thought it was worthwhile doing that!

Red-necked Stint and tomato jellyfish

This isn’t the first time we have had an invasion of tomato jellyfish and I am sure it won’t be the last! They thrive in warm water and there have been much worse blooms than what we are experiencing now. I am not overly keen on the smell of dead fish and thankfully it will just take a few big tides and Cable Beach will be back to normal.

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!