Coco Calling No.255 - Booby Mania Hits the Scillies
Photo credit: Stephen Holloway
Lots of birds enjoy a holiday away from it all. That’s why we go on migrations. But when we choose to go somewhere a little unexpected, humans can get terribly excited. And that’s exactly what happened when one of my Caribbean cousins decided to come on a break this side of the Atlantic. Yes, a Red Footed Booby booked a holiday staying on top of the iconic Bishops Rock Lighthouse off the Isles of Scilly. The accommodation came with sea views all around and a ready supply of fish just a beak’s grab away. It should have been bliss, except that a bunch of humans in a boat noticed him up there. Was it a Gannet with sunburnt feet? Had someone stuck a stuffed bird up there as some kind of joke? No, it really was a Red Footed Booby! And before long, the Booby’s stay turned into a holiday from hell. A sub-species of humans called “Twitchers” raced to the islands booking every single flight and boat crossing that was available. Some even chartered their own boats out of Penzance, and soon a small flotilla of vessels was circling the lighthouse. These Twitchers looked like they could have been cloned. They all arrived with the same plumage; woolly hats; khaki coats; untidy beards and with outrageously large telescopes, binoculars and cameras. And yes, they lived up to their name. They couldn’t keep still. They kept twitching with excitement.
Well, I’m sure that the poor Booby must have thought it had misread the brochure which had clearly stated that the Bishops Rock Lighthouse was the perfect place to get away from it all. Oh dear!
And all this left me wondering whether humans would have reacted in the same way if it had been Jesus who had suddenly appeared on top of the lighthouse? Would they have known who He was, or would they simply have passed Him off as some common, everyday species? Do some humans know more about wild birds than they do about their Saviour? And would they be prepared to meet Him face to face?
As for the Booby, he’s decided that he’s going to stay in the Caribbean next year as it’s a lot quieter.
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?”
“I have come as a light into the world that whoever believes in me shall not abide in darkness.”