[Tweeters] Brown Booby in Dungeness Bay

B Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Mon Oct 12 12:28:14 PDT 2015

Hello, Tweeters,

This morning (10/12/15, 9:40 am) there was a juvenile Brown Booby flying around the outer part of Dungeness Bay. Four of us (Denny Van Horn, Michael Barry, Dow Lambert, and me) watched it for about 20 minutes, then it flew north-northeast out of sight. It continuously circled around the bay while in view, occasionally plunging into the water after prey. Its plunges were sometimes vertical and sometimes at an angle. A few times it appeared to catch fish, which it ate right away. It didn’t sit on the water for very long, soon taking off after each plunge. Occasionally gulls pestered the booby, flying alongside it, as if the gulls were curious about this strange bird in their midst. It spent most of its time in the outer bay, south of the outer mile of Dungeness Spit.

It was an all-dark, chocolate brown juvenile, other than somewhat lighter underwing median coverts. Through our scopes the bill appeared somewhat lighter than the rest of the bird, but still dark. We couldn’t see the feet. It had classic booby shape, with long bill, head, and neck extending forward of the wings, and a long wedge-shaped tail extending behind the wings. It kept its long wings at about a 90 degree angle to the body much of the time, except when plunging. It looked bigger than the gulls that flew alongside it, with long body and long wings. It was molting, with a notch in both wings where it was missing an outer secondary. Dow got some long-distance photos for the record.

Another El Nino wanderer...

Bob Boekelheide

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