A thank you to Pinellas County birder Dale Goebel, for providing the answer to the probable how and the when, the Brown Boobies got to The Safety Harbor Bay location. In her words, "The Brown Boobies got here due to Tropical Storm Hermine. They were spotted just days after the storm passed". For the whole story on Tropical Storm Hermine, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Hermine. Now we need
to know the why, of what the reason is that these normal ocean going birds would hang out daily at an inland platform tower, 245 miles north of their customary Florida haunts, for going on a full year. For the record, the first sighting report that I could find, was that of Ron Smith on e-bird on 09/06/16. I have been asked thru personal correspondence, what the best time is to look for the boobies. During a six month period, I checked on them almost daily. To see the normal maximum number of birds (12), it was best to look after 6:00 PM from the beach at the south end of Philippe Park, on the north side of the town of Safety Harbor. In the hours before sunset, they have all come to roost, their white bellies easily seen with a scope facing west toward the sun. Mornings are better from Mobbly Beach on the Oldsmar side of the bay, but very seldom can you see twelve, because the birds have normally dispersed for the day. As for finding them in flight, during the day, you can usually find several of them giving an aerial show by looking north from the west end of the perimeter road along the north side of Courtney Campbell Causeway. If anyone has the answer or thoughts to why these seafaring nomads have stayed so long in this not so logical location, lets hear it!
Bob Lane / Clearwater