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 9 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
  • five-nights accommodation at the Observatory
  • transfers to and from Broome
  • all meals
  • use of BBO scopes

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.

2018 course dates and prices

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

  • 28th March – 2nd April FULL
  • 12th – 17th April FULL

2016 course bird list


Raptor, Tern and Shorebird Workshop (July 2017)

Essentially a condensed version of our five-day courses, this workshop will give you confidence in identifying some of Australia's most difficult bird groups. The workshop will be led by Dr Stephen Debus, an expert on Australia's birds of prey, as well as BBO staff, and will comprise presentations at the BBO, as well as in-the-field learning where your newly learned skills can be put to the test! With Broome being home to almost all of Australia's raptor, tern and shorebird species (including 20,000 shorebirds at this time of year!) this is an opportunity not to be missed!

2017 workshop dates and prices

$525 for BirdLife Australia members, $585 for non-members.

  • 8th - 10th July Completed

The workshop includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea each day, but does not include accommodation, transportation from Broome or other meals. Guests are welcome to stay at the BBO and transportation can be arranged if required (as per our prices noted on the Accommodation page). The workshop will run between 8:30am to 4:30pm each day.

IMPORTANT: this workshop will only go ahead if the eight places are filled by the 31st of March 2017, so please register your interest ASAP. A $100 deposit will be required once the course is confirmed, with the remaining balance due at the commencement of the course.


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 visits 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.

2017 course dates and prices

$1,323 for BirdLife Australia members, $1,470 for non-members.

  • 17th – 22nd September FULL
  • 1st - 6th October 3 PLACES LEFT

2018 course dates and prices

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

  • 21st – 26th September 8 PLACES LEFT
  • 6th – 11th October 8 PLACES LEFT

2015 courses bird list