Broome Bird Observatory ~ Part Two

Ok… let’s catch up. Tuesday, Lynn and I were checking the sports ovals in town (possibly Little Curlew or Oriental Plover) when we saw a snipe lounging in the shade of some trees. We watched it for a while without getting any determining looks or photos. Then the maintenance truck flushed it and it seemed to have flown “away.” Later in the day we saw it and two more on the same ovals. So there were three snipe hanging about there. John and Dave came by, but again no one could get an i.d. look or photo. That means we had three Pin-tailed/Swinhoe’s Snipe.

Wednesday morning early and reasonably bright, Lynn and I hit the double oval again and there in the shade of the few trees between the ovals were three snipe. We began stalking them, with me holding the camera ready should they spread their tails (Google: Pin-tailed vs Swinhoes and see the difficulty in determining which is which. I will not go into it here. Just realize that basically you have to see the tail spread). A Magpie Lark bothered two of them and I managed a poor, yet possibly identifiable photo. I sent it to Nigel and it was! He confirmed it as a Swinhoe’s. Other photos were taken later, and at one point it was thought we also had a Pin-tailed, but that was premature identification. However, we definitively had Swinhoe’s (at least two) and that is a wonderful thing and I am grateful!
The first i.d. shot... Swinhoe's!

Swinhoe's Snipe
After the ovals, Lynn and I went into the shops to pick up a couple of things and I got a call from Adrian Boyle. He was looking at a Eurasian Curlew at Crab Creek. Since Lynn and I had twitched the one at Bunbury last month, we were not going to dash down to mangroves to try and see it. Then we found out that he had also seen Little Curlew! A bird that we badly wanted, but the tide was rising and we could not get from town to the creek in time (the tides here are massive, running about 8 meters now I think).

Thursday morning a Brown Goshawk gave me a glare and then said good morning to me while I had my coffee. 
Shot through the fly-screen but I love that "stink eye" look that he is giving me.
I think he said good morning.
Then a bit later in the morning, Lynn and I headed down to catch the tide at the correct level and (hopefully) get out and have a look for the Little Curlew. Our new friend, John Graff, the Assistant Warden here at the BBO, was also heading out to have a look for the Eurasian Curlew. We followed him down the beach and then through the mangroves out to view the mudflats.

Our intrepid leader, John Graff doing what he does.
There were a lot of waders out on those flats. John went out about 100 meters further (we opted-out on crossing the little tidal rivulet with the really sinky mud). So we were scoping from our vantage point when he phoned to say he had the Little Curlew. It was straight out across from us! Quite a ways, but we got smashing scope views of this beautiful shorebird. I took the following photos. (Nigel is going to try and teach Lynn and me to digiscope with the iPhone. We will see). SO we got Little Curlew and I am really grateful! We have more days here and there will be more birds and blogs to come.
Little Curlew! Worth the mud, sweat and more sweat.

Well, here I am in the Broome Library again. It is Friday morning and Lynn and I began our day birding the point at the port, and the point at the lighthouse. They can be “migrant traps,” but not this morning. On our way back into town, we decided to check the sports ovals where we’d seen the snipe and much to our surprise had three Little Curlews! Such is birding. Yesterday’s mud slog to get a distant (but excellent) view of a lifer and then having 3 of them together and viewable from the air conditioned comfort of Troopi. Of course we got out and looked, scoped and got some photos. I am grateful.

Three Little Curlews! Less than 24 hours later... no mud or mangroves and closer.       

An Osprey flew over and they all crouched and watched it.
We are still here in Broome and we may hide out here at the BBO a bit longer than we had planned. There are wonderful birds and people here, and some air conditioning. This unseasonable heat wave is continuing (110F in the shade yesterday afternoon).

Birds. Peace. Love.