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Great Skuas

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

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 they patrol …

Bonxie v Baakie - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The struggle for survival

In the battle of Bonxie v Baakie there was only ever going to be one winner. It was the Bonxie. Here it …

Bonxie v Baakie - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Bonxie v Baakie

Bonxie v Baakie. Who do you think will win the epic battle of the fish? It’s Great Skua v Great Black-Backed Gull …

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

A day trip to Stronsay

Stronsay is one of the ‘other’ Orkney islands. I’ve not been there before because there’s no way of getting there from Westray …

Great Skuas and Kittiwake - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Escape?

After seeing a couple of successful attacks by Great Skuas against juvenile Kittiwakes I feared the worst when this one strayed over …

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

Bonxie ballet

Great Skuas are large birds. They’re the size of a gull. They are powerful and barrel-chested. Bonxie is their local name, originally …

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

Stumbling across a Great Skua

Great Skuas are one of my favourite birds. They are a constant delight as they patrol the shoreline, flying low and surprising …

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

The Kray Twins

There’s a young Great Skua ahead. That spells danger. There must be an adult or two around somewhere and I feel my …

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

Skua Patrol

Great Skuas eat fish, carrion or other birds. I’ve seen them pluck another bird clean out of the air and head down …

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

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. …

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

Pickieternos v Bonxies

Orkney has its own names for its birds. Many of these are from the Old Norse language and came with the Vikings …

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

Skewered by a Skua

I normally only see Great Skuas from behind as they disappear along the cliffs. They have a wonderful habit of cruising up …

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

The Atlantic

Westray has two sides: a North Sea side and an Atlantic Ocean side. They meet with dramatic consequences at the northernmost and …