The Arctic Skua family
The Arctic Skuas on the Westside have a chick. It appears to be bigger than they are. It’s easy to see the family because they attack you as you walk along the coastal footpath. Luckily the ferocity of their attacks diminishes as the chick gets larger.
Here’s one parent. This one has a white collar:
I’ve seen it hunting along the coast, attempting to get Kittiwakes to lose their fish lunch, or stealing the fish hanging from a Guillemot’s beak. They are magnificent kleptoparasites. They are like Omar in The Wire.
And here’s the other adult of the pair:
This one is the dark form.
And here’s their full-size ginger juvenile.
It helps that I’m lying down and provide no threat to them. After half an hour they’ve lost concentration on me a long time ago, so I can get nice and close for some portraits among the Sea Pinks.
Lovely aren’t they? Unless, of course, you’re carrying fish.
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