Last October we had a rare visitor to Broome in the form of a Banded Lapwing Vanellus tricolor. It spent its visit at the Golf Course with the Masked Lapwings Vanellus miles and the previous visit by the species had been in February 2008 and prior to that September 2005. Well, we then thought to ourselves that we would not see one again until 2014. How wrong we were! There have been a lot of different birds around this year for various reasons, which mainly involve the climatic changes we experience from year to year. We have never seen as many Zebra Finches as we have this year and there are a lot more Budgerigars and Diamond Doves in the Broome area. It is unclear as to whether they have all had a good breeding season or if they are dispersing to different areas this year.

Anyway, on August 19th we were just south of Broome going along the highway across the plains and we came across not just one Banded Lapwing, but four! We often bird that area throughout the year as it can produce some good species depending on the season. There have been years that the water from the Wet Season has lasted for months, but this year it is all very dry. The four Banded Lapwings were in amongst the cattle at the edge of the road and several Australian Pratincole were also present. We remained in our car and took several photographs of this amazing discovery-did they not know they were scheduled for 2014? They must have decided it was worth wandering further north this year!

One of four Banded Lapwings

 The other three Banded Lapwings

With the discovery of such wonderful birds so close to Broome we contacted some friends who we knew would be keen to see them. They were unable to visit for a day, but the birds were obliging and remained in the same area for them. They were also lucky enough to encounter Flock Bronzewings and a pair of Spotted Harriers, so a nice birding trip for them as well.

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!