An unprecedented event took place in Cornwall during the past week. A Brown Booby was discovered, a new bird to Britain, and spent several days in the Carbis Bay, St.Ives area. It proved elusive and was difficult to connect with. It wasn’t seen on Friday 30th August and so was presumed to have gone by the majority of the birding fraternity.
That all changed on Saturday 31st August, when it was relocated in the picturesque St.Ives Harbour area and to a select few, it pitched up on rocks in full view, allowing for some stunning photographs to be taken.
I decided I would go on Sunday 1st September and was fortunate enough to be offered a lift. We arrived at Gwithian Towans near the Hayle, which is opposite St.Ives and offers wide ranging views of the huge bay, in the early hours of Sunday morning and by dawn, along with 250 other birders, we spent the morning searching the bay for the bird with no luck. It had been seen the previous afternoon, flying past Pendeen Watch, and so was presumed to have departed. I arrived back home on Sunday late afternoon some what disappointed.
Then Monday 2nd September a different bird was discovered in Kynance Cove on the Lizard, Cornwall. In the first instance it was presumed to be the St.Ives bird but photographs proved otherwise. This bird was a first summer and in wing moult. The bird roosted and so gave an opportunity for another twitch and we departed 10pm on Monday evening arriving at Kynance at 0400hrs Tuesday morning. After a few hours wait, the Brown Booby appeared and began flying around the bay and settling on one of the huge rocks offshore, much to the delight of the assembled 300 or so birders. Phew, what a relief and a stressful few days, travelling some 1300 miles in total. Well worth it though.
The following images are not the best and not what I was hoping for, but are a memory of a fantastic bird to see in Britain.
The little pyramidal rock on the extreme left side was the Brown Booby’s favourite roosting cliff.