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first summer Arctic Skuas

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Old Saturday 5th July 2003, 09:36   #1
Stephen Dunstan
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first summer Arctic Skuas

Hi,

Does anybody have experience of first summer Arctic Skuas in British waters? I had two Arctics together (in itself pretty unusual round here) off Blackpool this morning. They were certainly not full adults and I am trying to pin down their age.

The Macmillan Field Guide to Bird ID says first summers remain in the wintering areas - do some make the journey north like some Sabine's Gulls etc.

Stephen.
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Old Saturday 5th July 2003, 11:29   #2
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Could they have been juveniles?
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Old Saturday 5th July 2003, 11:40   #3
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'Surreybirder' (Ken?),

I was thinking it was a bit soon for juveniles to have left the breeding areas, but I could be wrong.

Stephen.
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Old Saturday 5th July 2003, 12:19   #4
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I think that first-summers may occasionally venture into British waters but two together seems less likely. I don't know much about them but there is of course a massive tome on skua ID. And an excellent paper in British Birds some years ago. I saw what I thought was a first-summer or juv long-tailed skua in Northumberland some years ago. It was very cold grey generally. Trouble was it had gone by the time I'd double-checked it's wing flashes to make sure it was a skua.
No time to look at details. Sea-watching can be a frustrating business.
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