Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Booby Prize

Red-footed Booby, Lac de Sainte-Croix, Alpes de haute, France
Superlatives in birding, like in most other things, are used too much. Everything is either unprecedented or amazing. But I'm going to use both of these words to describe the Red-footed Booby that is currently residing in southern France - well inland at Lac de Sainte-Croixe. And what's more, to get the best views of the bird it's a twitch by pedalo across this picturesque spot.

With its closest open ocean breeding colonies being in either the Caribbean or Indian Ocean, this amazingly showy Red-footed Booby is a truly unprecedented record. Well, it's not really that unprecedented as seabird records never cease to amaze - look at the Yellow-nosed Albatross sat next to a Greylag on a small pond in Lincolnshire, a Long-billed Murrelet drowned in a fishing net on Lake Zurich (plus of course the Devon bird and one in Romania too) and a Soft-plumaged Petrel in Arctic Norway to name just a few in recent years.
Good times in Devon, November 2006

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