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
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 Bonxie v Baakie Bonxie v Baakie. Who do you think will win the epic battle of the fish? It's Great Skua v Great… read more Escape? After seeing a couple of successful attacks by Great Skuas against juvenile Kittiwakes I feared the worst when this one… read more Bonxie ballet Great Skuas are large birds. They're the size of a gull. They are powerful and barrel-chested. Bonxie is their local… read more