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Skuas are the seabird pirates of the the open seas. Easily recognisable by their large size, sturdy build, brown and white flecked feathers and long, hooked bill. Aggressive birds, will steal food from others as large as gannets. Despite this, I only ever saw them being chased by fulmars!
Rocky coasts with sheer cliffs and the open sea
The guy in the first picture nearly landed on my head! These were taken off one of the Shetland Islands, called Foula. We were sampling at 4am, and the water was eerily still, and HUNDREDS of birds were surrounding the boat. It was incredible. I later found out that "Foula" translated from Old Norse means "bird island", which couldn't have been more apt!