Hundreds of birdwatchers have been flocking to see a rare sea bird on a lighthouse off the Isles of Scilly.

Pictures show ‘twitchers’ crammed into several small boats to catch a glimpse of the ‘red-footed booby’.

Bird-lovers have descended on Scilly and West Cornwall to see the booby – only once before spotted in UK waters.

The bird, which is native to the Galapagos islands, spends almost its entire life at sea and rarely travels outside of warm water zones.

However, it was spotted by a birdwatcher on patrol around the isolated Bishop Rock Lighthouse earlier this month, which is 6.5km west of Scilly and off the south-western tip of the Cornish peninsula.

Since then, around 400 birdwatchers have dropped everything to see the bird, which appears to be resting before a return journey south.

Ross Newham, from Kent, said: “There are lots of sea birds that spend all their time at sea, they’re called pelagic sea birds. They only come to land when they breed, and so seeing a red-footed booby is incredibly rare.

"The last time one was spotted in the UK, it was found in East Sussex and I think it had to be flown back to central America. Most rare sea birds are seen and gone within seconds or minutes – so the fact it’s been there for two weeks might mean it’ll spend the summer in our waters.”