hahaa Yes, Moonbeam and I were aboard the Triumphant for a Dolphin cruise, out of Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach, CA Sunday 10/27/13~ We were sitting in the bow area, and I made a new Canadian friend sitting directly behind us, who was BEYOND EXCITED to see a BOOBY! *I of course- had NO CLUE what he was so excited about- Just that he was nearly chanting “I saw a Booby!” repeatedly! …and I wondered momentarily if I should take young Moonbeam and go seek a seat elsewhere!!!! I am glad I stayed, as this very nice gentleman turned out to be nothing more than a quite serious BirdWatcher–just this year, he traveled down to Australia hoping to see a Booby! The Masked Booby that is!!
He explained to me that the “Masked Booby” is a rather RARE and elusive Bird! It is a large seabird of tropical oceans, and is only a rare visitor to North America… but again, it is hard to find the bird period he stated, and many Birders never will get to see one- as aside from Australia, he has also sought the Booby around various tropical islands, to no avail… I smiled as he told me about the bird :)*He suggested to me I must also be very excited to see a Booby! (I almost told him, no not so much as I had 2 of my own…;) *So yes, he said how lucky I was that my first official Bird watching shot is of the rare Masked Booby! (not sure, but I am thinking that after the excitement of capturing a shot of such a rare bird, he assumes I will now become a Birder? and who knows? maybe I will- I probably need to learn how to actually USE my Nikon first? but that’s a whole ‘nother thing!)
…and of course I didn’t realize the significance of this particular bird hanging out on this booey- I was honestly just trying to get a shot of the booey because it looked really cool with the California Sea Lions lazing at the bottom, & with the black birds midway up, and the cool looking black&white birds at the top! That’s it! &Moonbeam loves seeing this booey every time we go out from this harbor!
but yes, while I was absorbed in that bit of picture snapping- this throng of very serious minded photogs with their huge fancy long lensed professional camera’s who seemed a LOT like the crazed celeb seeking Paparazzi that are a daily sight in & around Los Angeles area…plowed their way on deck and were going shutter snappin’ crazy! I almost sorta expected to see a frickn celebrity out in the water hahaa these dudes were so intense! So then, I thought- something is there! let me snap a few more from this angle!! and I did…
Back to my new buddy who is telling me other things about his adventures, and he really has so much enthusiasm, it is hard not to get caught up in it! He told me Birdwatchers from all over are coming out on the water here -just for these Booby’s! He mentioned Los Angeles is one of the best places for Bird watching in the world due to its many different habitats available for the birds…
But as I type this- what I keep hearing repeating in my head? Is all the men talking about “booby’s” and specifically this gentleman behind me, repeating almost as if he just can’t believe it “a Booby! I saw a Booby! 2 Masked Booby’s” over and over… so hilarious to me before I knew what he was actually referring to, and even after! made more so perhaps because of the looks on the couple sitting next to him- apparently not Bird Watchers either, and they had no idea why he was saying “booby” either at first… at one point -after I finally realized it was a bird-I asked him “how do you spell booby?” and he replied- “you know, just like a woman’s booby! b-o-o-b-y, booby!!” *ok, maybe you had to be there? but it was priceless!
*ah! so what a superFUN cruise! And in our nearly 3hour cruise out on the Pacific, we also saw huge pods of Common Dolphins, a spotter counted 8,000 of ’em! They were incredibly playful, we were loving watching them swim around & under the ship as well as jumping (breaching?) and so on. Also spotted were Bottle Nosed Dolphins, California Sea Lions, and Pelicans diving… no whales this time out! We didn’t expect any, but the day before we were told 2 Blue Whales had been spotted. but This was after all, touted as a Dolphin Cruise- and we were not disappointed!! We loved the dolphins!!! & we were our lucky selves that it also just happened to be full of Bird Paps, ummm I mean- serious Bird Watchers~ as we got to view up close and personal the wild & rare Masked Booby 🙂