Great skua

The great skua is an aggressive pirate of the seas, deliberately harrassing birds as large as gannets to steal a free meal. It also readily kills and eats smaller birds such as puffins. Great skuas show little fear of humans – anybody getting close to the nest will be repeatedly dive-bombed by the angry adult. These birds migrate to the northernmost isles of the UK from their wintering grounds off the coasts of Spain and Africa. At a distance they look stout and dark and show white wing flashes in flight.

Arctic skua

Arctic skua

Stercorarius parasiticus

This is a dark coloured medium sized seabird, with two distinctive long feathers at the middle of the tail.  It is about the same size as a common gull, with white patches on its wing tips. Often seen flying low over the water before pursuing other seabi...