I was ready to put the final preparations in place for our 2 week odyssey in the Kimberley! Unfortunately, my plans were a little sabotaged by influenza. My daughter went down with it first and I became full time nurse for a very sick and grumpy 12yr old. Four days out from the trip and I woke with a sore throat...........oh oh............ I went to the doctor and got some antibiotics (and even though I took them for 2 weeks they proved to be as effective at fighting the flu as crossing your fingers).
To be honest, I can't really remember the flight to Broome or picking up the hire car, but the adrenaline kicked in once we got out of the airport. It was "game on" and I needed to focus. New birds for the year came thick and fast, Little Curlews on the town oval, Red-headed Honeyeater in the court gardens, Red-collared Lorikeets feeding in the palms. We booked into the Broome Bird Observatory and then promptly left, to head down the highway to see Flock Bronzewing (a species I had never seen before). Our second day in Broome proved to be even better, having got the tides completely wrong, we arrived at the beach to find the tide so high that all those thousands of waders that Broome is famous for, were nowhere to be seen! Disaster...........until, we found a small group of waders in a secluded cove. In amongst them was a Eurasian Curlew! A mega-rare bird for WA and a completely unexpected find. Add in a couple of Redshanks and the disaster had turned into a success. The day got even better when searching for Eastern Yellow Wagtails at the caravan park, when we came across a stunning breeding plumage Yellow-headed Wagtail (a race of Western Yellow Wagtail). Having never been officially seen in Australia before, this was without doubt one of the two best birds of the whole year. On our third and final day in Broome we went out birding with George Swann, what he doesn't know about birding in the Kimberley isn't worth knowing! We had a whistle-stop tour of the various wetlands and lakes, picking up Little Ringed Plover, Swinhoe's Snipe and White-throated Gerygone amongst others.
|Swinhoe's Snipe - Lake Eda (near Broome)|