It’s that time of year when we are always watching for build-up clouds in the afternoon that will hopefully eventuate into rain. A good place to watch the weather and birds at this time of year is the Port of Broome. There is a car-park close to the walkway and you are able to get great views of any birds in the area and any clouds that are billowing away. It is a popular area at night for lightning shows too.

The best time to see the shorebirds is around high tide, because they roost just below the gardens where the plaque is placed for the official opening of the deep water jetty. The Eastern Reef Egrets and Striated Herons are often cleverly camouflaged amongst the rocks and mangroves too. Amongst the garden you can often observe Little Friarbirds, Pied Butcherbirds, Singing Honeyeaters, Torresian Crows and Magpie-larks.

23rd July 1966 official opening

View across the bay

Looking across the bay nowadays we can see the new Town Beach Jetty, which looks like a big metal crocodile!

Town Beach Jetty

Looking down from the garden you can see a wide variety of shorebirds. The most common in the area at high tide at this time of year is Grey-tailed Tattler. There are also Terek Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Great Knot, Whimbrel, Greater Sand Plover, Common Sandpiper, Golden Plover and Ruddy Turnstone. Whiskered Terns, Little Terns and Gull-billed Terns are often in the area and other species during cyclonic weather. If you are hoping to observe Lesser Frigatebirds then the Port of Broome is a good place to visit. In extreme weather there have been Great Frigatebirds too.

Shorebirds roosting at high tide

Access to the Port of Broome walkway is across the wharf access through swinging gates. You are able to walk a few metres down the wharf nowadays rather than the full length of years gone by. Of course there are a few warning signs!

The dangers of the wharf!

The walkway is popular with fishermen and women and also the birds. At any time there are usually six Osprey on the light poles and the Pied Cormorants enjoy roosting on the wharf in between meals.

Walkway on the wharf

As you enter the walkway you can see Port Beach to your right and it is one of the boat launching areas in Broome. As you can see below it is also popular with salt water crocodiles and Irukandji jellyfish!

Black Kite at Port Beach

Osprey enjoying a fish on a light

Pied Cormorant

Whether you are weather watching or bird watching you can’t go wrong at the Port of Broome at this time of year. If the tide is out then you can easily observe all of the shorebirds feeding on the mudflats.

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!