04 February 2008

In Search of a Booby

This weekend I made the 5 hour haul up to Georgia to meet my parents and spend some quality time on Jekyll Island. On the trip back home I decided to stop at the St. John's County Pier in St. Augustine Beach and search for the reported Brown Booby. I paid the 50 cent fee and proceeded out on the pier. There were Rock Pigeons and Boat-tailed Grackles all around. At the end of the pier was my booby!

The man at the desk said that the Juvenile Brown Booby has been around since August. It only eats live fish and it will hunt on its own. I also noticed that it doesn't really mind all the people around and happily went about preening as I took pictures.

I still had a 3.5 hour drive home so I decided to leave after an hour. As if on cue, the booby stopped preening, turned around and gazed out at the ocean. Then it took flight, diving over the crowd of surfers and after turning around, it came right back to its perch, 2 feet away from me.

What? You want me to fly out there?

It gave me one more look before it went back to preening and then I was on the road again. From I-95 this is a quick side trip that I would recommend to anyone. You take the SR207 exit to SR312 which ends on AIA. The pier wasn't crowded and the Brown Booby put on quite a show.


Mike said...

What a sweet sighting!

Bevson said...

Excellent shots too. I have never seen a booby, brown or otherwise.