One day's brilliant birding at Broome

To: <>
Subject: One day's brilliant birding at Broome
From: "Phil Joy" <>
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 1997 17:54:59 +0800
Hullo to all,
            On Friday 15th of August, Broome Bird Observatory wardens, Janet
Sparrow and  Chris Hassell, were accompanied by myself and eight other keen
birders on a trip to an area of freshwater lakes which are on private land
situated to the east of Broome. 

We left Broome at about 7am  and returned to the BBO at 6pm. During those
hours we had fantastic views of, and identified and counted, - Ninety Four
-that is - 94 - different species of birds.
Some of the more spectacular sightings and the numbers counted follow:
Magpie Goose - 2 ( or should that be Geese), there have been less than 6
sightings per year for this species in the area.
Plumed Whistling Duck - 40 
Wandering Whistling Duck - 400+
Hardhead - 506+
Pacific Black Duck - 88
Australasian Grebe - 440+
Eurasian Coot - 210+
Little Pied Cormorant - 4
White-faced Heron - 16+
Little Egret - 1
Great Egret - 1
Intermediate Egret - 30
The Ibis count was as follows: Glossy - 62, Australian White - 53,
Straw-necked - 156.  

There were twelve different species of raptor sighted, including
Black-shouldered Kite - 1, Black Kite - 1, Whistling Kite - 6,
White-bellied Sea-eagle - 1, Swamp Harrier - 7, Wedge-tailed Eagle - 6,
Little Eagle, Brown Falcon, Brown Goshawk, Spotted Harrier, Australian
Hobby were all single bird sightings and there were 2 Nankeen Kestrel .

Perhaps the most spectacular sight was more than four hundred and fifty (
450) Brolga contentedly dancing, standing, feeding, breeding, flying and
walking.  Other notable sightings were 202 Green Pygmy Geese and not
forgetting a Purple Swamphen and also an Australian Bustard 

Undoubtedly the most important sightings of the day were those of the
Jacanas, one in the first area we visited, and two at the second.  These
birds are very
rare in this area, they don't even appear on the BBO Bird List nor are they
mentioned in Peter Collins book the annotated list of "The Birds of
Broome".  To the best of my knowledge there has only been one other
confirmed sighting ever, this was in June this year by Jim Lane and Tim

The weather was fine and clear all day and great viewing of all the above
 31 species plus the other sixty three  were enjoyed by all.  Unfortunately
the daylight hours are never long enough and failing light caused us to
leave .   

I can't close without mentioning the 75 Rufous-throated Honeyeaters
counted by Jan or the 5 Pictorella Mannikin we saw as well. Zebra Finches
came in with a count of 64 seen at all venues as well as 5 Red-backed

The day concluded with the updating of the Observatory Daily Bird Log
followed by a magnificent meal and a glass or two of vino.  A fitting
finale to a most magnificent
day of "Birding at its Best". 

Phil Joy         
P O Box 21
W A            6725

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