It is that time of year again when we start to see the shorebirds around Broome change into their beautiful breeding plumage. We then witness their departures each evening over several weeks. The header above is of several species of shorebirds on Reddell Beach. There are Grey-tailed Tattlers, Greater Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Terek Sandpiper and a Pacific Golden Plover looking at you head on!
Some of the shorebirds here are quite well camouflaged in the rocks on Reddell Beach. The Pacific Golden Plover are a good example of this. When they return from the north they have a lot more black plumage, but before they go they are just more heavily “golden” than they have been over recent months.
Pacific Golden Plovers
Whimbrels tend to keep to themselves on Reddell Beach. They are very vocal when they take off and are the larger shorebirds on the beach.
All of the shorebirds are very busy feeding up ready for migration when the tide is out. They are then relaxed at high tide and roost on the damp sand until they can feed again. The colouring of the rocks and the pindan sand in Broome enables the shorebirds to blend in quite well.
Shorebirds on Reddell Beach
There are a number of shorebird species here for you to identify! Ruddy Turnstones, Pacific Golden Plover, Grey-tailed Tattlers, Sanderling, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sandplover and Terek Sandpiper. There are some beautifully coloured Curlew Sandpipers on the beaches now and the Great Knot and Red Knot are also coloured up ready to head north.
We are not allowed to travel internationally out of Australia, but these shorebirds are free to head north. We wish them all the best for their travels and hope that they can successfully breed and return to our shores in a few months’ time.