We had some really good rains and it filled up some local ephemeral lake systems a few weeks ago. After a week where the temperature hovered around 40c with no rain the tracks in became passable and we had to go and explore! Everything comes alive after rains and you discover all sorts of wonderful things. The bare sand is suddenly covered with little pink flowers and the water comes alive. You can be several kilometres from the coast and you find land crabs and there are holes everywhere. The goannas have got new skins and are out feasting and exploring. Everywhere looks lush and there is a lot more than you can possible see. The green growth is tall and you see the odd bird’s head-all it needs is a bird of prey and you discover there’s a lot more than you first imagine!


 Flowers emerging after rain

 Land crab hole

Land Crab

Gould’s Goanna

Every water body was supporting hundreds of ducks, egrets, herons, ibis and a few shorebirds as well. We explores most of the water bodies from the car, as they were not disturbed if we did that and we could get a lot closer than on foot. Cars really do make great bird hides and they don’t need camouflage at all!

Plumed Whistling Ducks

Glossy Ibis and Little Egrets

It is a mystery-how do these birds know that we have had rain near Broome? Where do they come from? There are some incredible bird movements all across this continent every year and so little is known about them. It is so nice to see so much growth and such green land, but to have the added bonus of all these birds arriving is something even more special. We have to make the most of being able to get into these places, as one more big downpour and we won’t be able to. Meanwhile, the shorebirds are changing into their breeding plumage and they will soon be on their way as well!

So, I have two challenges at the moment-working out a new computer and adding to my 2012 bird list! Stick with me while I get my head around the new system in between birding!

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!