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Skua Sri Lanka, March 2010

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Old Friday 16th April 2010, 12:14   #1
PieWie
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Skua Sri Lanka, March 2010

During a pelagic from the southern coast of Sri Lanka I photographed a skua. The expected species there is pomarine. Artic is rare and long-tailed not yet recorded (well, till last week when a fine adult was seen and photographed).

Could you have a look at this bird and tell us what you think it is? We do think to know what it is but some support is welcome.

Regards,

Pierre
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Old Friday 16th April 2010, 12:39   #2
Jhanlon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PieWie View Post
During a pelagic from the southern coast of Sri Lanka I photographed a skua. The expected species there is pomarine. Artic is rare and long-tailed not yet recorded (well, till last week when a fine adult was seen and photographed).

Could you have a look at this bird and tell us what you think it is? We do think to know what it is but some support is welcome.

Regards,

Pierre
Pierre, I think your bird is a long-tailed skua. The limited white primary shaft streaks and uppertail barring seem to support this along with the bird's general structure. Without a reference book to hand I wouldn't like to say more but I expect if you saw the bird in better light it would have colder tones (more greyish) than an arctic skua.

I'm not sure of the significance of a rather worn, (bleached) p10 on one wing but immature skuas tend to show variable amounts of black & white barring on the underwing. This doesn't seem to be obvious in any pics but if you noted some it might help with ageing this bird.

Hope this is of some use
James
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Old Saturday 17th April 2010, 03:34   #3
Dave B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PieWie View Post
During a pelagic from the southern coast of Sri Lanka I photographed a skua. The expected species there is pomarine. Artic is rare and long-tailed not yet recorded (well, till last week when a fine adult was seen and photographed).

Could you have a look at this bird and tell us what you think it is? We do think to know what it is but some support is welcome.

Regards,

Pierre
Hi Pierre

I agree that this is a Long-tailed. I'm quite surprised that the species is so rare in Sri Lanka as it is a not uncommon pelagic visitor off the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia at this time of year (I'm assuming you photographed the bird recently). Most likely under-recorded, as was this species here till recently.

There are some photos of Long-tailed Skuas I saw recently off the west coast of Malaysia here.

Cheers

Dave
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 19:24   #4
PieWie
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Thanks James and Dave,

you both confirmed our idea that this is a long-tailed skua. And yes, it is very surprising that it's this rare in Sri Lanka (and India). Not only due to your sightings in Malaysia (saw these on your blog recently (great stuf by the way, often one of the first things I check after the weekend, especially the wader posts!) but also because of the regular occurance at Eilat, Israel on the other side of the Indian Ocean.

And I forgot to mention, the pictures are from the first week of March 2010.

Must be a lack of observers or lack of experience. Might increase with the daily whale watching trips from the south coast nowadays.

Cheers,

Pierre
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Old Monday 19th April 2010, 03:47   #5
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Hi Pierre

Thanks for the kind comments. Haven't managed as much wader-watching as usual this year owing to work (which is good I guess!!).

Anyway, if you can spare a Blue Whale or two, you know where to send 'em!!

Cheers

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by PieWie View Post
Thanks James and Dave,

you both confirmed our idea that this is a long-tailed skua. And yes, it is very surprising that it's this rare in Sri Lanka (and India). Not only due to your sightings in Malaysia (saw these on your blog recently (great stuf by the way, often one of the first things I check after the weekend, especially the wader posts!) but also because of the regular occurance at Eilat, Israel on the other side of the Indian Ocean.

And I forgot to mention, the pictures are from the first week of March 2010.

Must be a lack of observers or lack of experience. Might increase with the daily whale watching trips from the south coast nowadays.

Cheers,

Pierre
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Old Monday 19th April 2010, 12:51   #6
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Might increase with the daily whale watching trips from the south coast nowadays.

Cheers,

Pierre
Prophetic words Pierre! Check out the latest on OBI!

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Old Tuesday 20th April 2010, 08:00   #7
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Well, it's not just this one. I just recieved pictures of three skua's. One is a perfect adult LTS and the other two look very good too! These were made somewhere last week off Southern Sri Lanka.

Pierre
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