2015/2016 Wet Season Rarity Recap
As we near the beginning of the wet season, with our first rare bird just around the corner, let's recap Broome's outstanding finds of the 2015/2016 wet season.
Dates: 29th November - 24th December 2015
First observed by: Clare and Grant Morton
Summary: This brilliantly found first for Australia, was present for close to a month, busily foraging on the drying muddy edges of Lake Eda. Access limitations prevented this bird from being easily twitched, but many Broome locals and a few birders from interstate were still lucky enough to see it.
Kamchatka Leaf Warbler
Dates: 14th - 24th February 2016
First observed by: Nigel and Jaime Jackett
Summary: The first Phylloscopus to be recorded at the BBO since 1999, this one could be relatively easily identified as a Kamchatka Leaf Warbler based on his distinctive songs and calls. 'Chucky' entertained our birding guests as he foraged for caterpillars in the mid-levels of shrubs and trees.
(Probable) Western Yellow Wagtail
Date: 4th March 2016
Observed by: John Graff and David Marshall
Summary: A rather frustrating find, this wagtail was photographed on Roebuck Plains behind the Observatory in the presence of many hundreds of Eastern Yellow Wagtails. After taking the photo the wagtail flew, before better views could be obtained, but the presence of a yellow supercilium and yellow ear-coverts strongly point to a Western Yellow Wagtail, likely of the race lutea. Currently, Western Yellow Wagtail has not be confirmed in Australia.
Dates: 30th September 2015 - 29th March 2016
First observed this season by: BBO Birds of the Broome Region course participants
Summary: Australia's first Semipalmated Plover (discovered in 2009), returned for yet another wet season at its favourite haunts of the Broome Sewage Works and adjacent beaches. In just a few weeks, we should know whether it has returned for its 8th season in Broome.
Dates: 10th February 2015 - 30th of March 2016
First observed by: AWSG Wader and Tern Banding Expedition participants
Summary: The Eurasian Curlew first found in February 2015, was seen irregularly at various sites in Roebuck Bay up until the 30th of March 2016. Despite being a bird in its second-year of life, and still too young to breed, it appears to have left Roebuck Bay for the dry season. There is hope that it (or another) may return at the end of 2016.
Annually occurring rarities
Little Ringed Plover
Dates: 18th August - 11th November 2015
First observed by: BBO Lakes Tour participants
Summary: Only one Little Ringed Plover was found in Broome this season, initially appearing early in the season at Taylors Lagoon, before relocating to Lake Eda where it remained until at least early November.
Date: 10th February 2016
Observed by: Nigel Jackett
Summary: Small numbers (<5) of this species can usually be found in February and early March, as they forage within large flocks of Barn Swallows and Tree Martins. However, in 2016, they were only observed on one occasion, with 2-3 individuals seen over the Crab Creek mangroves one evening.