Kyushu island of Japan marks the regular northernmost limit for the wide-ranging Brown Booby in the western Pacific, however their numbers vary from month to month and in the right circumstances can even be encountered off the main Honshu island.
In the Ariake Sea they can often be found on the ferry route between Shimabara and Kumamoto, where they roost on navigational aids. But they are much more numerous and reliable on the confluence of the Ariake Sea and Japan Sea, where the churning waters are teeming with all sorts of suitable fish that are forced close to the surface by the currents.
Although a common bird with a large area of distribution, the Brown Booby is always fascinating to observe as it dives from great heights, hits the water surface with tremendous force and then struggles to become airborne again.
They are a comical mass of untidy feathers when attempting any aerial manoeuvre, but are quite graceful when in horizontal flight or when soaring.
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John Wright is an Australian wildlife photographer and bird guide based in Kyushu, Japan. John became seriously engaged in nature photography while living in Japan and then Thailand. He returned to Japan in 2008 and has since concentrated on wildlife photography, especially birds. John visits Southeast Asia and Australia regularly, but usually travels within the Japanese archipelago, where he also guides visiting birders and wildlife photography enthusiasts.
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