Great Skuas

Great Skuas are called great, not because they are wonderful, which they are, but because they are large. They’re really Greater Skuas. It’s the same way that Great Britain isn’t called great because it’s wonderful, which it is sometimes, but because it’s really Greater Britain. Great Britain is larger Britain. It was the Romans who named what is now England and Wales Britain when they invaded. When did Britain become great, by which I mean larger? The answer is in 1707, when the Act of Union joined Scotland to England and Wales to make the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

So if I’m ever asked what makes Britain great, my answer is always the same; Scotland. Scotland is what made Britain great.

It still does.

Great Skua - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What makes Scotland great then? The answer is, of course, Orkney. That happened in 1472.

Great Skua - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And what makes Orkney great?

The island of Westray is what makes Orkney great.

Great Skua - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And what makes Westray great? The people.

And the Skuas, of course. They’re Great.

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