Full report to follow. For now, headlining act on our Seabird weekend event was this adult Pomarine Skua. Seen coming in to the chum at the back of the boat, a skua was called out. Heading toward the back of the boat, I quickly picked the bird up just as it turned to reveal shape, plumage and ‘spoons’ thus sparking a holler from me of ‘Pomarine Skua! Thankfully, unlike many other skuas, this one chose to stay and give a wonderful performance to the 100 plus folk on the boat.
Adult Pomarine Skua, Bridlington Bay, 8th Sept 2012, above 3 by Steve Race. Easily aged as an adult by all dark underwing coverts. The bird is moulting into winter plumage with new secondaries contrasting with old primaries. It has also moulted some body feathers including on the rump and upper tail coverts. In fresh summer plumage males can have almost no barring on flanks or breast band. However I think an adult in moult is perhaps not safe to assign to sex as they do develop barring over the underparts in winter plumage.
Adult Pomarine Skua, Bridlington Bay, 8th Sept 2012, above 2 by Phil Palmer (www.BirdHolidays.co.uk). Very much enjoyed once again working with Phil as a fellow ‘spotter’.
Adult Pomarine Skua, Bridlington Bay, 8th Sept 2012, by Steve Race.