Gray-tailed Tattlers return to Cable Seashore – 10,000 Birds


This week we’ve had very huge tides and the migratory shorebirds which have returned to Broome from the Northern hemisphere have struggled to seek out any seashore left to roost on at excessive tide. The roost websites in Roebuck Bay develop into inundated with the ocean and the shorebirds will transfer additional afield to discover a appropriate roost. Gantheaume Level, the Port of Broome and Cable Seashore develop into another roost web site through the very huge tides, however for a number of the shorebirds it could imply flying round till the tide drops once more.

On Thursday October twenty seventh the tide was racing in to peak at 9.55 metres at 11.34am to then drop again to 1.33 metres at 5.55pm adopted by a night-time excessive of 10.11 metres at 11.41pm. I cycled to the seashore for 10am and there was already a big flock of shorebirds to the south of the Surf Membership in the direction of Gantheaume Level. Two Gray-tailed Tattlers landed with the Silver Gulls close to the rocks the place there’s usually four-wheel drive entry. You possibly can see from the header picture that the Gray-tailed Tattler had realised the tide was racing in and rapidly moved onto a rock to flee the tide.

Gray-tailed Tattlers and Silver Gulls

Many alternative species of shorebirds journey the East-Asian Australasian Flyway to spend the non-breeding cycle of their lives right here in Broome. Solely this week the extraordinary journey of a Bar-tailed Godwit travelling from Alaska to Tasmania in simply eleven days has proven us all simply how unbelievable these shorebirds are. We’re extremely fortunate to stay in an space the place the shorebirds can feed on the mudflats of Roebuck Bay with minimal disturbance.

Usually there’s four-wheel drive entry alongside a bit of Cable Seashore, however the Shire in recent times acknowledged that the flatback turtles wanted assist to outlive. Initially the seashore entry was closed for a couple of hours both sides of the most important tides after which four-wheel drives would hopefully not drive or park on nest websites. The ruts left by tyres has additionally been a problem and the Shire have lastly determined to present the flatback turtles a good higher likelihood of survival by closing the seashore entry to automobiles for the months of December and January. That is welcome information, as a result of it additionally minimises shorebird disturbance too on this part of the seashore. When there’s a very huge tide you possibly can solely entry the northern part of the seashore by climbing up over the dunes, however it does supply nice views of the shoreline. Now we have not seen clouds for months now, however now we’ve a couple of so as to add some selection to our panorama.

Seashore entry at Cable Seashore-closed on huge tides

Clouds over the Indian Ocean at Cable Seashore

I walked north for a couple of kilometres after which returned to my bike on the ramp to watch the six Gray-tailed Tattlers decided to roost on one of many rocks. It was thirty minutes earlier than excessive tide they usually had been making an attempt their greatest to not get swamped as every wave rolled in.

Gray-tailed Tattlers

One of many Gray-tailed Tattlers determined to depart the tall rock and transfer to the decrease rock to the proper. One wave later and it quickly realised its mistake and flew again to the taller rock and had shake to get dry. All six of the Gray-tailed Tattlers watched and waited because the tide stored pushing in and finally they admitted defeat and flew north.

Gray-tailed Tattlers ready for prime tide

By heading north alongside Cable Seashore the Gray-tailed Tattler would quickly discover lengthy stretches of sand the place they might roost. Though Cable Seashore shouldn’t be essentially famend for its shorebirds there are some respectable sized flocks right now of yr and visiting the seashore round excessive tide provides the most effective likelihood of essentially the most shorebird species. Gray-tailed Tattlers favor rocks on the seashore, to allow them to be noticed simply from the entry ramp space on these giant tides.


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