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Caribbean Sea Bird Causes A Stir On Greystones Beach

18th July 2020
An adult male brown booby at flight; a bird like this one landed in Greystones earlier this week An adult male brown booby at flight; a bird like this one landed in Greystones earlier this week Photo: Andreas Trepte/Wikimedia

Bangor Marina is not the only spot on the island of Ireland that welcomed an unusual winged visitor this week – as locals in Greystones were treated to the sight of a sea bird usually found in the tropical Atlantic.

As RTÉ News reports, the large male brown booby who landed at the beach in the Co Wicklow town this past Tuesday (14 July) was the first recorded signing of the species here.

However, it was later reported that the bird appeared was suffering from exhaustion, likely a result of being blown so far off course by an Atlantic storm, and died in the care of a wildlife rescue centre in Kildare.

Niall Hatch from BirdWatch Ireland commented: “To see one in Europe is really unusual … There’s a record from 2016 on a boat offshore from the Skellig islands but no one got to see it.”

And this bird may not have been alone in his long-distance travels across the Atlantic, as suspected sightings of his fellow brown boobies have been on the rise in waters off southern England and the continent.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

This story was updated on Sunday 19 July.

Published in Marine Wildlife
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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