Around 11 this morning I arrived at Harris Park in Cayuga to find Chris T-H and 
company with scopes aimed at buoy 49 about two miles away showing two bumps 
perched at its base: the bigger a Great Black-Backed Gull, the smaller the 
Brown Booby, I was told. Cool, I shrugged with a mix of awe and incredulity, as 
I proceeded to pump up my inflatable "kayak" and started paddling into the 
wind, light but enough to make the journey choppy. In about an hour I arrived 
near the bouy and began snapping away at the brown booby resting next to the 
great black-backed gull. The potential mistake I made here was sitting in the 
navigational channel, which caused an oncoming motorboat to steer away from me 
and thus very close to that buoy, trailing a wake that swayed the bouy so much 
that the booby had to raise its wings to maintain balance, but the two birds 
remained unfazed. Perhaps the big swell reminded the booby of home.

Anyhow, I positioned myself to drift downwind slowly to about 20-30 yards from 
the bouy and snapped away, the birds still relaxed and unalarmed, though 
certainly keeping their eyes on me. Soon I was downwind of then with a million 
photos (actually, "only" 680), and I paddled back towards Harris Park. I soon 
found myself very seasick from staring through the camera on the choppy waters, 
so I just lay down on my boat and took a nap in the pleasant afternoon sun and 
breeze, drifting ever so slowly back to Harris Park. At one point the loud 
rumble and horn signaled the passage of a train - this I think was the cause of 
the bird flushing (I was too seasick to scan with binoculars from the rocky 
boat; I also didn't think that it might flush, though in retrospect I now 
remember trains being a bird flusher on at least two other occasions).

I posted a few photos on Facebook:



Cayugabirds-L List Info:


Please submit your observations to eBird:


Reply via email to