At this time of 12 months in Broome we usually encounter remoted showers and they are often torrential, however they could solely be over a small space. It could be raining at house, however go one kilometre away and it’s dry or vice versa. The Bureau of Meteorology rain gauge in Broome is on the airport and the readings from the gauge will be fairly totally different to a different rain gauge a couple of kilometres away. Final Saturday morning it was pouring with rain at house, however we determined to danger going for a seashore stroll about ten kilometres up the coast in direction of Willie Creek south facet. It seemed like a typical remoted bathe!
We drove by torrential rain to get to the parking space on the cliff-tops and it was dry after we received there. The header photograph reveals the rain over Broome, which landed in our rain gauge, however not the rain gauge on the airport! It did seem like we could be risking getting moist, so I put a big umbrella in my backpack and off we went north. The tide had simply turned and the ocean was tough, so there have been numerous creatures washed up. We quickly encountered a number of creatures that reminded us that you shouldn’t dip your toes within the Indian Ocean at the moment of 12 months. Irukandji jellyfish are a risk, however you’re unlikely to see these resulting from their dimension. The creatures that we noticed have been clearly seen on the sand.
The primary blue-bottle jellyfish didn’t have seen tentacles, however then we noticed one with a really spectacular lengthy tentacle over 30cm lengthy.
There have been numerous different jellyfish that have been the dimensions of dinner plates and different smaller “jellies” which will have been egg sacs slightly than jellyfish.
Doable egg sac
The prettiest creatures washed up on the seashore have been the Porpita porpita, that are button sized creatures with a vivid color and tentacles. Most of the turquoise tentacles have been washed up alongside the excessive tide line.
We got here throughout a sea snake in a knot, which appeared to not have the ability to get again to the ocean throughout a quickly falling tide. Grant fastidiously used a stick and it unknotted itself and when he positioned it again within the ocean it swam off strongly. We had not encountered a sea snake in a knot earlier than and based on this text the ocean snakes must knot themselves continuously to do away with parasites and to shed their skins each couple of weeks. The ocean snake was roughly 60cm lengthy as soon as it was straight once more.
Sea snake in a knot
You could possibly inform that the ocean had been tough just lately by different gadgets washed up like sea sponges.
There have been no finish of mud whelks on the transfer because the tide receded and though they’re supposedly edible we don’t eat them! They have been largely 10cm lengthy.
The tide was receding quick and that gave us a superb alternative to stroll north and observe the resident and migratory birds. You may not consider an Australian Pipit as being a chicken that you’d encounter on the seashore, however it’s common on this part of seashore. They might conceal within the rocks and get protected against rain or the warmth of the day, however we continued north with our umbrella!
Australian Pipit watching an remoted bathe from the highest of a rock
We may simply stroll north with out disturbing the birds. There have been 30 Sooty Oystercatchers and 30 Pied Oystercatchers in two separate flocks. The 2 species of Oystercatcher should not breeding at the moment of 12 months and sometimes congregate collectively. There’s a loads of meals as soon as the reef is uncovered when the tide falls they usually usually simply wander about on the seashore till they will return to feed. The Oystercatchers are inclined to choose to stroll slightly than fly and can simply stroll forward of you as you wander up the seashore.
Sooty Oystercatchers wandering up the seashore
As a result of reef being underwater many of the shorebirds have been roosting and we may stroll round them, so they may proceed to calm down. The Crested Terns are probably the most nervous and take flight on some events, however usually you’ll be able to stroll by on the excessive tide line and depart the shorebirds roosting.
Shorebirds roosting ready for the tide to drop
The shorebirds current have been Sanderling, Gray Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Nice Knot, Larger Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Gray-tailed Tattler, Bar-tailed Godwit, Crimson-necked Stint, Frequent Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Crimson-capped Plover. There have been additionally Brown Booby feeding at sea and Little Terns, Crested Terns, Lesser Crested Terns, Frequent Terns, Gull-billed Terns and Silver Gulls. The gray morph and white morph of Japanese Reef Egret moved onto the sandstone cliffs till the tide dropped sufficient to return to the reef to feed.
Small flock of shorebirds
We did stroll all the way in which to the south facet of Willie Creek and we watched the encompassing remoted showers, however I carried that giant umbrella for 3 hours and didn’t want it. It was good insurance coverage to ensure it didn’t rain! Over the numerous years that we’ve lived within the north of Australia we’ve learnt to not be deterred by remoted showers. Nonetheless, had their been lightning concerned we’d not have been out exposing ourselves to that danger!