Images taken by a bird-watcher in Cornwall show the brown booby fishing off the coast in St Ives.
© Keith Jennings
Images taken by a bird-watcher in Cornwall show the brown booby fishing off the coast in St Ives.
The brown booby bird is usually found in tropical oceans and on beaches off the Pacific coast but has been seen at St Ives

'Birders' have flocked to St Ives after sightings of an extremely rare bird that has never been reported before in the UK.

The bird, a brown booby, was spotted for the first time on Tuesday (August 27) at The Island in St Ives.

The bird was captured in these remarkable images by bird-watcher Keith Jennings. He took them as the bird was close inshore off The Island at 7.34am on Tuesday.

The bird then flew south towards the harbour when Keith lost view of it.

It was reported again later by someone else who saw it flying west past fishing boats around 2.30pm but there were no further signs by dusk.

Google map data shows that the closest the brown booby bird has been spotted before is Spain, with most sightings of the water bird occurring around Mexico, Columbia and Venezuela.

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The brown and white seabirds with bright yellow feet are usually found in tropical areas around the world.

Website eBird reports that they are a "large seabird of inshore waters, often seen from beaches off the Pacific coast, sometimes just beyond the breakers.

"Usually plunge-dives from a shallow angle, much closer to the water than the blue-footed booby.

"Breeds in colonies on offshore islands, nesting on the ground. Head, neck and upper parts are solidly brown, except for adult males from Pacific coast populations which have a white-ish head and often an entirely white-ish neck.

"Adult has well-demarcated white belly and immature has a variably mottled brown belly that rarely looks solidly brown below."

Images taken by a bird-watcher in Cornwall show the brown booby fishing off the coast in St Ives.
© Keith Jennings
Images taken by a bird-watcher in Cornwall show the brown booby fishing off the coast in St Ives.
Birders have now been stationed across The Island in St Ives throughout much of yesterday and today in the hopes of spotting the brown booby.

Birders or birdwatchers observe birds as a recreational activity - it can be done using binoculars or telescopes or by observing with the naked eye.

This morning (August 28) the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society (CBWPS) said the brown booby, one of the larger seabirds of the booby family, was reported distantly at 7.54am. The report said however that "many on site were far from convinced".