Great Skuas are one of my favourite birds. They are a constant delight as they patrol the shoreline, flying low and surprising us as they sail effortlessly past.
This time I’ve been lucky and stumbled across one close by on Papa Westray:
What a magnificent beast:
I manœuvre around to get a plain background, hoping that it won’t fly.
I’ve never been this close and not been attacked. I think that’s probably a surprise to us both.
When it does take off it shows its characteristic white wing flashes:
And then lands further away to preserve its dignity.
What a beautiful encounter.
More Great Skuas
Flashy wings The go-faster stripes on this Great Skua are very distinctive. They're very Starsky & Hutch and their 1976 Ford Gran… read more Bonxies Bonxie is the name for the Great Skua, Stercorarius skua, here in Orkney. It's the Norse name for them. If… read more Flypast I'm sat on the cliffs of Westray in pleasant light. It's the middle of summer and it's finally made it… read more Scolder Eurasian Oystercatchers have no fear. They're happy to make the lives of any other bird, or even human, a misery… read more Bonxies on a boat Great Skuas, Stercorarius skua, are known as Bonxies in Orkney. Their flashing go-faster white wing-stripes are a familiar sight as… read more The struggle for survival In the battle of Bonxie v Baakie there was only ever going to be one winner. https://www.thehallofeinar.com/2021/08/bonxie-v-baakie/ It was the… read more