After all of the recent flooding we don’t anticipate being able to travel very far in coming months by vehicle. Main Roads are updating the website several times a day as the situation changes, but with bridges completely destroyed to the north it will be a very long time before we can head that way.
Streeter’s Jetty in Broome is heritage listed and is known to have existed since 1897 and is an excellent place to go birding. Until last year you had to be very careful of your footing due to it being in quite a bad state of repair. The jetty has now been repaired and offers a hand rail on one side as well.
It is handy to check the tide chart before you venture out onto the jetty, because the tides are very big in Broome and there may be a lot of mud exposed or there may even be water on the jetty itself during our biggest tides. When the tide drops there are hundreds of crabs on the mud. The majority of the crabs do appear to be left-handed, but you do see some right-handed ones too!
Crabs on the mud at Streeter’s Jetty
At this time of year there are often flocks of Oriental Pratincoles soaring across the sky in search of grasshoppers. Streeter’s Jetty is also under the flight path for the airport and standing on the jetty you can expect to see planes fly straight over you. There are some Oriental Pratincoles in the photos below, which appear as specks!
Plane flying over Streeter’s Jetty
If you do happen to be on the jetty when the planes come in then you may not initially hear the bird-life. There are so few planes coming into Broome airport each day that you won’t be waiting long and then you will soon hear the birds. Often the first bird you will hear calling is the Mangrove Golden Whistler. They don’t always show themselves and if they do you might only get a brief chance to photograph them.
Mangrove Golden Whistler
One of the other birds that you often hear, but don’t always see well enough to photograph is the Dusky Gerygone. Yellow White-eyes are very good at flitting back and forth across the channel and blending well in the mangrove trees.
One of the highlights of any visit to Streeter’s Jetty is the Red-headed Honeyeaters that flit amongst the trees. They have also worked out that the air-conditioning from the building closest to the jetty drips fresh water through a big pipe. They can often be observed at the pipe bathing and drinking and many other bird species join them. Standing on the jetty you can easily observe the birds visiting the overflow pipe.
You may not be at the Streeter’s Jetty very long at all to observe the bird-life, but one thing that will be very apparent is that the tide drops back very fast and before you know it it will be surrounded by mud rather than water.
If you happen to fly into Broome in coming months you may not be able to travel far by road, but you can easily wander down to Streeter’s Jetty and enjoy our local bird-life.