Complete Ashmore Reef and Browse Island trip report

Subject: Complete Ashmore Reef and Browse Island trip report
From: Rowan Mott <>
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:22:12 +1100
Hi All,

Our seabird and shorebird research team have recently completed a ~two week
survey in the Browse Basin off the Kimberley coast. As a follow up to the
updates provided recently to birding-aus here's a more final summary.
During the fieldwork the weather was generally settled with storm clouds
only appearing on the horizon on one evening.

Pechora Pipit – One immature bird was present at Ashmore for the duration
of the visit.

Asian Brown Flycatcher – A single individual was present at Ashmore for 3

Tiger Shrike – a juvenile on Browse Island was the second record for this
island and WA.

Oriental Reed Warbler – Three individuals at Ashmore. A fourth reed warbler
at Ashmore was believed to be an Australian Reed Warbler .

Japanese Sparrowhawk – A single immature at Ashmore for 4 days. It was seen
consuming an Oriental Cuckoo, a Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo and a Sacred
Kingfisher on different days.

Red-billed Tropicbird – A single at Ashmore on one morning. It circled
overhead for ~ 10 minutes before departing to the north. The nearest
breeding population of this species is in the Persian Gulf and this
individual had wandered far from its normal range.

Arctic Warbler – The diagnostic single syllabic contact call of Arctic
Warbler was heard from three individuals, two at Ashmore and one at Browse
Island. However, there were a number of other individuals that didn't call
- whether these were Arctic Warblers or Kamchatka Warblers is unknown.
Based on plumage and behavioural differences there was a minimum of eight
Arctic-type warblers at Ashmore and three at Browse Island.

White-breasted Waterhen – A single moribund bird was found at Ashmore.
Noteworthy as it belonged to subspecies *leucomelana,* this is the third
record of the species for Ashmore.

Grey Wagtail – Three individuals at Ashmore Reef, one individual at Browse

White-throated Needletail – A single individual roosted at Ashmore on one
night. The first record for Ashmore and generally rare in the western half
of Australia.

For birds which were photographed, images can be found at

Kimberley Birdwatching will be running a birding tour to Ashmore in March
2015 after a successful trip in October found amongst other things a
Heinroth’s Shearwater. For more details visit


Rowan Mott and Adrian Boyle
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