Monday, September 11, 2023

Club Tropicana....

The bird was on that Red Buoy.

 After the run around on Wednesday, I was pleased to find that the Teesside Brown Booby was still hanging on down at South Gare, Redcar. To put this to bed once and for all I carried out that most heinous  of birding crimes and twitched it. In my car! How very dare.... but the 160 miles round trip was worth it and it turned out to be one of the easiest twitches I've done.

I met John at Alnwick Homebase at 6am and we headed on a traffic free A1 down to J60 at Sedgefield then a short run eastwards to arrive at our destination at 7.30am. The car was parked in a road side pull -in and as we got out and opened the boot to get the gear out, John said ' In the bag, let's away!' Eh?

'Aye its sitting over there' so I scanned with the bins and sure enough, at range the angular shape of the Booby could be seen sat atop the tall red buoy in the river mouth. Target ticked by 7.35am!

A short wander across the road with the scopes and an hour observation gave nice, if a little distant, views. The bird preened a while before being shook from its perch by the wake of a large ship passing by. It then flew around, chased by a few gulls where its small size could be seen. It then joined a gull / auk feeding frenzy to feed. The method was quite unexpected. I imagined it would plummet in like a Gannet but no, it sat on the calm surface and dipped its head down like a dabbling duck or maybe a pelican, before lifting up with a mouthful of fry.   

Some field sketches were put in the book and a few digi phone scoped shots for later. 

A few other birds passed the time too with a nice morning lit Peregrine low over, 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Yellow Wagtails S and 1 Redpoll S. 

We left at 9.30am arriving back home at 11am. Excellent timing as we both had family commitments in the afternoon.

Brown Booby #428 BOU.

Field sketches, coloured when back home.

Worked up sketch for my neater notes.


  1. Nice one! And a wee tribute to the George Michael of birding too with the title!

    Sometimes a twitch just has to be done!


  2. Absolutely fantastic artwork: much more evocative than photos.

  3. Thanks gentlemen..

    Col, I also did a short traffic conditions line or two as well... ;)