Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blue-footed Boobies in Playa del Rey

A rare bird, a blue-footed booby, had been reported off shore in Malibu on Thursday, but it's not worth a long drive for a single bird seen once. It's early Saturday morning with no plan for the day. Mike gets up and reads that boobies had been reported Friday in Dana Point, Laguna Beach, and the Santa Ana River trail in Huntington Beach. The best photo was on the river, so he talks Chris into getting up and making the journey. Unfortunately, it was foggy and there were no boobies to be found. So, we head to brunch at Haute Cakes in Newport Beach where Mike reads on his iPad that six blue-footed boobies were spotted in Playa Del Rey. Mike has always wanted to go to the Galapagos, in part to see the blue-footed boobies, so he talked Chris into going to Playa del Rey with the promise of not being dragged to the Galapagos. Chris, who likes birds but does not like rough boats and hates reptiles, especially giant swimming reptiles, readily agreed.

The birds are on a breakwater with a long rock jetty being the best viewing spot. Chris bravely walked 99.9 percent of the way to the end. There were a few other birders with scopes there, and we spotted and photographed a few of the birds.

Blue Footed Booby
Blue Footed Booby
Blue Footed Booby

Unfortunately, they are juveniles and don't have blue feet, and from the distance they don't look much different from the brown boobies we've seen in the Caribbean. Mike may have to renege on the promise based on the dull foot color.

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