Arriving back in Clearwater this Sunday afternoon for the week, I decided about 6:30PM, to venture to nearby Philippe Park to revisit with the long staying celebrity Brown Boobies. All twelve of what I consider my normal count of the white-bellied beauties, were there on their preferred easternmost platform tower in Safety Harbor Bay, easily seen with my Swarovski spotting scope.  They were all facing west, six lined up on a lower horizontal cross frame and the other six above them. Also on the tower were 82 Double-crested Cormorants, with 17 of them on active visible nests. Why and how these out of place pelagic wanderers arrived in this northwest corner of Old Tampa Bay is a mystery. Why they have stayed so long, at the end of this upcoming August, believed to be the first time they were seen, it will be a year, and another mystery. Until eleven months ago, most birders who had recorded Brown Booby for their "LIFELIST", did so by traveling to the only reliable site for finding them in North America, The Dry Tortugas, sixty miles south of Key West. What a great opportunity it would be for a professional ornithologist, or a graduate student, to do a research paper, on this extremely one of a kind, rare happening. Lots of questions and no answers.

Bob Lane / Clearwater    

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