Just to state my interest from the outset, I'm
the Warden of Broome Bird Observatory.
It's pretty easy right now to get Painted
Finches near Gantheume Point, Broome.
Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens can
be found along the banks of the Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing Lodge in the
mornings - walk down to the river bank between the two houses on stilts
(you'll know them when you get there) and you'll find some huge old trees washed
down in floods. Look among the roots of these trees, where they love to forage
and along the adjacent banks of the river. Otherwise along the banks of the
Fitzroy at Geikie Gorge. While you're at Fitzroy Crossing Lodge, look for the
Barking Owls in the trees behind the safari hut area - often
there "woof-woofing" at dusk, and check out the Star
Finches near any sprinklers on the caravan park grounds in the
mornings, especially out the back. Across the river from the Lodge is sometimes
good for White-browed Robin. Have seen one only Ground
Cuckoo-shrike at Fitzroy Crossing, in the bush opposite the
You wont get Yellow Wagtails
(all migrated to Asia) up here in June, but you will get Yellow
Chats if you pop into the Broome Bird Observatory - tick it now, we'll
show you later!
No Garganeys around Broome right
now and no Little Ringed Plovers either (very rare and way out
Derby sewage farm is easy access
with specially constructed hides but I've not been there personally. Broome is
very difficult. You can drive around it and mostly get good views but you need
to do OH&S courses to enter (and more!) and can only do it with one or
two tour groups in the area (including the Observatory).
I've had reports a few months ago of
Pictorella Mannikins down the road from the BBO but not seen
Black-breasted Buzzards are
pretty regular in the western Kimberley area generally, it's mostly
knowing what to look for. Frequently with upswept wings - a bit like a
Sea-Eagle, but has big white windows towards the wingtips. I only need Letter-winged Kite to complete
my Aussie Raptor list, so call me if you see one up here!
Mornington Sanctuary, off the Gibb River Road is
good for Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens and word from there right
now is that there are zillions of Budgerigars breeding there.
White-quilled Rock Pigeon is a bit of a goer in the Mornington
area too. Otherwise, try Winjanna Gorge.
We haven't been getting the honeyeaters you're
after around Broome, but have had Pied Honeyeaters, Black Honeyeaters, Banded
Honeyeaters, White-fronted Honeyeaters and one Spiney-cheeked
Honeyeater coming out of the deserts and arid regions for a feed or
drink in recent months.
The details on where Red-browed
Pardalotes can be found are a bit long winded but can give you leads if
you pop in see me at the BBO, and you definitely should. Broome Bird Observatory
is the best reason to come to Broome and is one of the great birding locations
in Australia, if not the world. If you're not into waders before
coming, you soon will be and even in this quieter time of the year these birds
are amazing. Mention this ad and you'll even get a discount, but seriously,
you'll never forget a day or two spent here. Roebuck Bay is among the most
beautiful pieces (photogenic) of shoreline in Australia and, because the
waders all roost at high tide on the northern shores of the bay they are
perfectly lit from all our vantage points for photography. Indeed, the entire
Kimberley is a photographer's dream.
Hopefully will see you when you get up
Broome Bird Observatory WA