At this time of year in Broome we commonly encounter remoted showers and they are often torrential, however they could solely be over a small space. It may 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 may be fairly completely different to a different rain gauge a number of kilometres away. Final Saturday morning it was pouring with rain at house, however we determined to threat going for a seashore stroll about ten kilometres up the coast in direction of Willie Creek south aspect. It seemed like a typical remoted bathe!
We drove by way of torrential rain to get to the parking space on the cliff-tops and it was dry once we acquired there. The header picture exhibits the rain over Broome, which landed in our rain gauge, however not the rain gauge on the airport! It did appear to be we may 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 a whole lot of creatures washed up. We quickly encountered a number of creatures that reminded us that you shouldn’t dip your toes within the Indian Ocean presently of 12 months. Irukandji jellyfish are a risk, however you might be unlikely to see these resulting from their measurement. The creatures that we noticed had 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 varied different jellyfish that had been the scale of dinner plates and different smaller “jellies” which will have been egg sacs somewhat than jellyfish.
Attainable egg sac
The prettiest creatures washed up on the seashore had been the Porpita porpita, that are button sized creatures with a vivid color and tentacles. Most of the turquoise tentacles had been washed up alongside the excessive tide line.
We got here throughout a sea snake in a knot, which appeared to not be capable to get again to the ocean throughout a quickly falling tide. Grant rigorously 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 according to this article the ocean snakes have to knot themselves incessantly 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 may inform that the ocean had been tough not too long ago 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 had been principally 10cm lengthy.
The tide was receding quick and that gave us a very good alternative to stroll north and observe the resident and migratory birds. You won’t consider an Australian Pipit as being a chook that you’d encounter on the seashore, however it’s common on this part of seashore. They might disguise within the rocks and get shielded from 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 presently 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 typically simply wander about on the seashore till they will return to feed. The Oystercatchers are inclined to choose to stroll somewhat 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 had been roosting and we may stroll round them, so they may proceed to chill out. The Crested Terns are probably the most nervous and take flight on some events, however usually you may stroll by on the excessive tide line and depart the shorebirds roosting.
Shorebirds roosting ready for the tide to drop
The shorebirds current had been Sanderling, Grey Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Knot, Greater Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Grey-tailed Tattler, Bar-tailed Godwit, Red-necked Stint, Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Red-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 Eastern 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 aspect of Willie Creek and we watched the encircling remoted showers, however I carried that enormous umbrella for 3 hours and didn’t want it. It was good insurance coverage to verify it didn’t rain! Over the various 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 threat!