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Birdwatchers flock for Redcar rare brown booby's visit

the brown booby in flight, a large seabird with a white chest and dark wings and head
The brown booby normally lives in tropical areas

Birdwatchers have descended on Redcar after a rare avian visitor was spotted.

The brown booby can normally be found in tropical areas, with the nearest breeding colonies being in the Caribbean and off the west coast of Africa.

So it caused a stir when one was seen resting at South Gare on Thursday.

Tom Stewart from the British Trust for Ornithology said it was "exciting" but could be part of a pattern of warming seas, which posed risks.

The adult female was first sighted off Flamborough Head on 3 September before arriving in Redcar several days later.

The booby starts to take off from a buoy
The bird has been at South Gare in Redcar

People were still reporting seeing it on Friday morning, while another brown booby had been seen in the Firth of Forth as recently as Wednesday.

Mr Stewart said the brown booby was a "charismatic" and "impressive" bird which was "very rare" in British waters.

He said large seabirds which spend most of their time out over the ocean were "bewitching" so to see one in this country was "exciting".

But he said the increase in sightings coupled with warmer sea temperature might not be good news.

Other sea birds such as puffins were at serious risk with rising sea temperatures driving the fish they feed on deeper or further north, Mr Stewart said.

Photographer and enthusiast Dave Ward said the Redcar bird could be seen hopping between buoys and appeared unfazed by passing ships.

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