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


    This week we’ve had very large tides and the migratory shorebirds which have returned to Broome from the Northern hemisphere have struggled to search out any seaside left to roost on at excessive tide. The roost websites in Roebuck Bay turn out to be 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 turn out to be another roost website in the course of the very large tides, however for a few of the shorebirds it might 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 seaside 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 may be usually four-wheel drive entry. You’ll be able to 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 unimaginable these shorebirds are. We’re extremely fortunate to dwell in an space the place the shorebirds can feed on the mudflats of Roebuck Bay with minimal disturbance.

    Usually there may be 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 seaside entry was closed for a number of hours either side of the largest tides after which four-wheel drives would hopefully not drive or park on nest websites. The ruts left by tyres has additionally been a difficulty and the Shire have lastly determined to present the flatback turtles a good higher likelihood of survival by closing the seaside 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 seaside. When there’s a very large tide you’ll be able to solely entry the northern part of the seaside by climbing up over the dunes, but it surely does provide nice views of the shoreline. Now we have not seen clouds for months now, however now we’ve a number of so as to add some selection to our panorama.

    Seashore entry at Cable Seashore-closed on large tides

    Clouds over the Indian Ocean at Cable Seashore

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

    Gray-tailed Tattlers

    One of many Gray-tailed Tattlers determined to go away the tall rock and transfer to the decrease rock to the precise. One wave later and it quickly realised its mistake and flew again to the taller rock and had an excellent shake to get dry. All six of the Gray-tailed Tattlers watched and waited because the tide saved pushing in and ultimately they admitted defeat and flew north.

    Gray-tailed Tattlers ready for top 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 is just not essentially famend for its shorebirds there are some respectable sized flocks presently of 12 months and visiting the seaside round excessive tide gives one of the best likelihood of probably the most shorebird species. Gray-tailed Tattlers desire rocks on the seaside, to allow them to be noticed simply from the entry ramp space on these giant tides.