Sea Watching Pays Off

Since arriving to the Sunshine State on Saturday there seems to be a vital component missing, the sun. The sun has not come once since our arrival. Despite all the gloomy weather I ventured out to walkway 5hat leads to the beach and set up my spotting scope and started to scan. The fog wasn’t nearly as bad as yesterday so I was able to view the ocean to the horizon. What I really wanted was to get was a better view of a Northern Gannet. It was after about 30 minutes when saw my first one, an adult, and I was able to get on it quickly as it flew parallel to the coast from my left to right. Now I’m satisfied, but why stow my scope away and head back. No need at all, so I stayed put and continued scanning.

I had another Gannet fly by, a few Mergansers, and loads of Common Loons were quite numerous. Then I noticed what I originally thought was a juvenile Gannet fly even closer to shore than the other Gannets, but when it passed I immediately noticed something different. This bird had a broad white collar which didn’t match what I was looking at in my field guide. In my Peterson guide I had the page open to where the Gannet info was and just below it was the picture of a Masked Booby. That was it!  I was absolutely floored. Never in a million years would I imagine a bird like this come across my scope.

I’m going to include a photo I took off the internet with this post so you can get an idea exactly what I saw. Notice the white collar. That’s exactly what I was looking at as the bird disappeared from view.


Sorry for the poor quality picture, I”ve to figure out how somethings work.
53.  Masked Booby
54.  Double-creasted Cormorant


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