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