If you should ever bird The Kimberley region of Far North West Australia, one place you do not want to miss visiting while in Broome, is the Broome Bird Observatory […]
If you should ever bird The Kimberley region of Far North West Australia, one place you do not want to miss visiting while in Broome, is the Broome Bird Observatory (BBO). Broome is known as the Shorebird Capital of Australia since the extensive tidal flats of Roebuck Bay host and feed flocks of thousands of shorebirds and migratory waders each year when they return to spend the Summer months, after breeding in the Arctic Circle countries. Because we visited in Winter, we missed seeing these great numbers, but a visit in Spring would be quite rewarding. We only had time for the Lakes Tour on this occasion, as on our last visit several years ago the lakes had all dried up due to a poorer than usual rainy season. Here are some Winter shots from a previous visit, of the ones that stayed over:
We spent two nights in their self-contained Chalet accommodation, though very modest, it was very adequate for our stay. We did this so we could take part on one of their all day birding adventures around the freshwater lakes, which only they have access to. They run several different tours based around the different habitats nearby: Shorebird tours; Mangrove tours; Lakes tours and Bush & Plains tours, as well as special tours to see the rarely seen Yellow Chat, which we saw on a previous tour. The BBO, though an autonomous organisation, are associated with Bird Life Australia, which is Australia’s major bird conservation organisation. The host Wardens Ben and Olivier will welcome you to their beautiful Clive Minton Discovery Centre featured below. I have posted about the Mangrove, Yellow Chat and Plains tours on previous post some years ago. If you fly into Broome as we did, without your own transport, the friendly BBO staff can pick you up and bring you out to the Observatory,
Here are some shots around BBO. They have a general kitchen dining area for campers and those in cabins called the Shade House. Here birds can be viewed coming to several bird baths during the day and people can eat and relax as seen below. Each evening the campers and staff gather to do an official bird count for the day where each person may contribute to the bird count of the various species seen.
We started out early in the morning to do the Lakes Tour with several other birders. The BBO Wardens provided transport in their 4 WD vehicles and provided viewing scopes for us to get a close up look at the birds. Warden Ben provided comprehensive information and sightings of the birds as we proceeded on to private property which the BBO were given exclusive access to, on which these lakes were situated. Below see flocks of Brolga with some dancing to either impress a prospective mate (courtship) or maybe just because they like doing it.
Here are some more shots of our tour, and some of the birds we saw. We saw several lifers including birds rarely seen such as the Flock Bronzewing and Australian Pratincole.
There are so many more species of birds I have not shown here but here are a few as well as some of the sights we saw from around the BBO which were easily reached by means of their walking tracks:
The small insectivorous, White-throated Gerygone was the last bird we sought after before returning to Broome. The reason was its beautiful call which it continuously sang. We spent nealy 30 minutes trying to actually locate the bird as it flew from branch and tree to escape our view. Finally I got one shot (see above). I also recorded the sound:
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at BBO and recommend it to all Aussie birders and visiting overseas birders, you will not be disappointed. You are bound to see several lifers if not more. I advertise the BBO each week on my blog and home pages.
Have a wonderful week and stay safe. Hopefully our Spring birds will return from migration for another season, as we have seen a drop in numbers since the bushfires and extreme weather of the past three years. Check out my books which are available in 70 outlets throughout our country and also available here online. They are ideal to start your child in appreciating our amazing birds, with the added bonus of encouraging them to make wise life choices.
Down on the beach below the BBO, holding tenaciously to the pindan red banks was this Ghost Gum. On the beach many Mangrove trees likewise had exposed roots that reached down into the sand, awaiting the high tide to cover them. Despite having most of its root system exposed and supporting soil washed away, it appears to be thriving. This is because the tree did not give up but extended more roots to the remaining soil to keep a firm hold and draw sufficient nutrients to continue flourishing.
Perseverance is the key to success and the difference between achievement and disappointment. It means to press on despite obstacles. It takes courage and faith to persevere when things seem impossible or life throws a curved ball at us. Perseverance sees problems as challenges and failures as opportunities to do things differently, often discovering new and innovative ways. Most inventions come from those who persevered and kept trying until they achieved their dream. They do not give up, they just see each disappointment as a learning point, for not doing something a particular way. Thomas Edison knew this better than most and was quoted saying: “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
“The only guarantee of failure is to stop trying.” – John Maxwell
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.” – Helen Keller
““Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison
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