Last year the rain gods were very generous to Broome. The last wet was a big wet. Even after the intervening dry season, lakes out on the Roebuck Plains still hold a good amount of water. The birds are loving it.
First a couple of photos for the true aficionados, answers at the bottom …
Like the two above, many of our shorebirds are very long distance migrants breeding in the far north of the northern hemisphere and coming to Australia to escape the northern winter. Dual citizens as it were …
Whilst others are resident.
Others aren’t shorebirds at all, they just have long legs, well adapted for feeding in shallow water. This would include the Brolgas in the headline photo, herons and Ibises – waders in the American sense.
Now the answers, these two individuals have been discovered in the last few days. The upper one is a Pectoral Sandpiper. These breed in Alaska and the Russian far east and most winter in South America. A few join the east Asian flyway and find their way to Australia or New Zealand.
The second bird is a Little Stint. Their breeding ground is in the Eurasian high arctic. Most go to Africa to escape the northern winter. A few find their way further east. It’s only a small minority that find their way to Australia.