On a humid February evening, we took the boat out to a sandbank in the middle of Roebuck Bay to photograph the tropical marine life that is only exposed on this vast expanse of fine, silty sand on a very low spring tide. Brightly coloured sponges, Comb stars, Brittle Stars, Feather Stars and crabs littered the sandbank, which covers an extensive area in the middle Roebuck Bay. Of particular interest were the multitude of tiny Feather Stars associated with the sponges and pieces of coral; we counted fifteen on one yellow sponge. We also found a sponge riddled with Five Lined Ribbon Worm, another new find.
As the tide receded, Broad-billed Sandpipers foraged in the soft silt towards the water’s edge. These Sandpipers are the only member of the genus Limicola. Breeding in wet taiga bogs in Europe and Siberia, these beautiful little birds spend the boreal (northern) winter around Roebuck Bay, feeding by sight on insects and small crustaceans.