Day 348 – “Dance/ Booby Wonderland….hah,hah/dance/ Booby Wonderland…”

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I love, love, love extreme birding and the kindred souls that share my obsession. I feel the most alive when I’m on the way to chase a rare bird that has appeared out of nowhere, a vagrant in a foreign land. How did he get here? How long will he stay? Will I be one of the lucky ones to share a brief glimpse?

It makes me feel like a child to go on these avian scavenger hunts. Many chases are akin to finding a needle in a haystack. So many of the rarities that I have seen this year, I know I will never see again in my lifetime. It is the allure of this brief romance that brings me back every time.

Boobies are special seabirds. The name alone makes people giggle and respond in adolescent ways. I had seen every species this year but one–Nazca Booby, a bird typically found in the Galapagos. I had devoted many days to the pursuit. I hated having this hole in my list.

It is why I once again flew cross-country. I wanted to have one more chance. So did my friend, Charlie Trapani. There are currently 4 Nazca Boobies in the San Diego Bay. Me and Charlie were determined to
see one.

We arranged to go out on a boat. When we got to the boat launch, Paul Lehman, who originally found the birds, was also there to get a closer look at the Boobies.

We saw one pretty quickly at the second buoy(where else would you see one?😂) We were able to get close.

Were these birds in San Diego ship-assisted by a banana boat? I will leave others to figure out where they came from. I’m just happy I got to see one.

Here are more gratuitous Booby shots!

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  1. Sandy Dow says:

    We have been following your journey since departing Oahu! You have added some incredible birds. Good luck on these final days of 2017! Sandy and Larry Dow

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