Tuesday, 3 September 2019

The Lizard

I met Dick Filby off the M25 and we pressed on through the night for my third attempt for Brown Booby in Cornwall over the last few days - every other day I'd made the journey! After the two failed attempts, I was very much hoping this further sleepless night would have a positive result. It wasn't quite a case of hoping for a 'third time lucky' as, insanely, the Lizard bird was a clearly younger and different individual to that which had so far evaded me (despite the species never being seen in Britain before a couple of weeks ago).

The odds were more favourable for this trip, the bird having been seen to settle at the back of its favourite rock the previous evening, though much like the moon the far side of this particular rock could not be seen from terra firma. It wasn't seen again by dusk but it was assumed, as it hadn't been seen leaving, that it was roosting out of sight.

Our first hour-and-a-half on site was anxious, and the inevitable sense of dread at the thought of another dip built up with every passing minute. It was such a moment of relief and joy, therefore, when just after 8am the 2cy BROWN BOOBY launched itself from behind the rocks and performed a couple of close fly-bys, delighting the crowd! It almost settled in view on one of the nearest rocks then had another fly-around before resting more distantly, but in perfect view with a scope.

Brown Booby

A flock of seven Chough was a real treat, and the sea had a Sooty Shearwater and good numbers of Manx Shearwaters and Gannets. Two Ravens flew over.