Experience the varied bird life of the Broome Region and hone your birding skills on one of our popular courses. The Observatory conducts two sessions of courses each year. Courses are scheduled according to the seasonal movements of the birds and the suitability of prevailing weather and conditions. Our friendly and expert Wardens will guide you through the best birding sites, where you will experience the unique and diverse bird life of the region and the migratory shorebirds for which Roebuck Bay is known.

Birdwatchers can struggle with shorebird viewing, not only because the many species have subtle differences in their identification, but it can also be hard to get close enough to them. Our courses will open up this world of birding to you by bringing shorebirds closer than ever. If you are already an avid shorebird watcher, you will surely be impressed with the viewing opportunities provided by Roebuck Bay.

Course numbers are strictly capped at 8 participants to ensure an ideal guide to guest ratio and comfort in our vehicles.  

All full Wave the Waders Goodbye and Birds of the Broome Region courses include:

  • daily tours and activities
  • accommodation at the Observatory (except for the final day of the course)
  • transfers to and from Broome
  • all meals
  • use of BBO scopes

If you are hoping to see a particular suite of bird species, please view our combined species lists to see what has been recorded in recent courses, and might be best for you.

Inclusions for shorter workshops may vary, please refer to the individual workshop outlines below for inclusions

Wave the Waders Goodbye

Roebuck Bay is among the top five migratory shorebird destinations in the world. The bay is an ideal area for observing daily shorebird movements on and between mudflat feeding areas and high tide roosts along the shoreline. It is also a perfect setting to witness departure of shorebirds as they embark on their long annual migration to northern Asia and Siberia, which is the focus of this course. During the course, you will have an opportunity to witness large numbers of birds in departing flocks, as well as observe the beautiful and diverse breeding plumages of these shorebirds against the spectacular backdrop of the bay.

Discourses on shorebird identification, feeding ecology, and migration are presented during this course. Subject to post-wet season accessibility, we also tour the bush and plains to the east of the Observatory and other local birding sites where we’ll find a variety of bush birds and waterbirds, in addition to shorebirds that favour fresh water habitats.

2019 course dates and prices

$1,390 for BirdLife Australia members, $1,545 for non-members.

  • 1st – 5th April 5 PLACES LEFT
  • 15th – 19th April 8 PLACES LEFT

2016 course bird lists


BBO Photography Workshop (August 2018)

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This one is for the photographers! Co-led by Flock Wildlife award-winning photographers David StoweHenry Cook and Shelley Pearson, each morning and afternoon you'll visit a different shooting habitat, where you will capture shots of many of Broome's unique species. During the heat of the day, you'll receive classroom sessions on photography techniques, composition and post-processing, as well as learn ways to improve your identification skills of tricky subjects such as shorebirds, terns and raptors!

The workshop is fully catered and includes five-nights accommodation at the BBO, as well as return transfers from Broome!

2018 workshop dates and prices

$3,285 for BirdLife Australia members, $3,650 for non-members.

  • 6th - 11th August 2018 FULL

Provisional course program


Birds of the Broome region

What makes Broome one of the most exciting birding regions in Australia? Join us for this course and discover the incredible diversity and abundance of birds that reside in the Broome region. We will visit a variety of habitats, including the shores and mangroves of Roebuck Bay; lakes, bush and plains of Roebuck Plains Stations east of the Observatory, and creeks and mangroves of the lower Dampier Peninsula north of Broome. You will have the opportunity to observe a wide range of species, including bush birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and birds of prey.

The course also includes discourses on bird identification and ecology. We will help improve your bird watching skills, thereby enhancing your bird watching experiences and appreciation of birds wherever you travel.

2018 course dates and prices

$1,390 for BirdLife Australia members, $1,545 for non-members.

  • 21st – 26th September FULL
  • 6th – 11th October FULL

2019 course dates and prices

$1,390 for BirdLife Australia members, $1,545 for non-members.

  • 25th – 29th September 8 PLACES LEFT
  • 10th – 14th October 8 PLACES LEFT