I spent sometime up on the shingle at the fishing boats watching this Long tailed Skua at close quarters tonight. Unconcerned by visiting Birdwatchers, but always keeping an eye on passing Gulls and Sandwich Terns, this was a rare ocassion for me with a very special bird - my second ever Long tailed Skua. When this bird returns north next spring it may well have its dramatic long tail feathers, and will be returning to an Arctic homeland in the company of Arctic foxes and Lemmings at least for the summer.
But as I write, this bird seems in no rush to make it back to the Equatorial waters of West Africa for its winter home. Sadly this Squa has a missing foot, and also should really be west of the British Isles out in the Atlantic on a more standard path south. However, it's healthy and feisty bird, every bit a Squa chasing Terns and stealing prey at will. It may well be the highlight of the year seeing this bird today, so I'd like to thank Martin - aka the Ploddingbirder for placing pics and information, enabling myself and other birders to catch up with a very close Long tailed Skua. Cheers Martin!